We all know that we have a bullying epidemic in this country. But few adults realize how bad it is in today’s schools. Did you know that approximately 160,000 students skip school each day for fear of being bullied? And over 70% of students say they have witnessed another person being bullied.
So what exactly constitutes bullying? According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, “Bullying is any unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated over time … It can include making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”
Bullying often has long-lasting effects on the victim and can negatively impact them well into their adult years.
An Exercise to Reduce Bullying
One of my goals is to help students refrain from bullying and have them become more responsible about the topic. Following is an anti-bullying exercise I observed a teacher do in class.
The students took a piece of paper, crumpled it up, and stomped on it. They then unfolded the paper, smoothed it out, and observed the scarred and dirty results from their efforts.
Next, the students looked at the paper and told it that they were sorry.
Even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, the teacher had them notice all the scars that were left behind. The point was that the scars would never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix them.
The lesson taught was that when a child bullies another person, the bully may apologize but the scars remain.
Tip: If you are a parent or a teacher, I urge you to share this simple lesson.
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