In 1999, Georgia became the first state to pass a school anti bullying law. Since then, 48 other states enacted legislation protecting children from bullying.
Montana is the lone holdout. The laws were passed in response to research that proves bullying causes physical, psychological, social, and academic damage.
The laws vary from state to state in terms of definitions, policy, protection, accountability, helping the bullied, and cyberbullying clauses. Some suggest or recommend training and prevention programs for students. In the future, the number of states mandating bullying programs and supportive services for bullied children will grow because the detrimental effects of bullying are constantly publicized in the media and on the internet.
Who will be required to teach anti bullying skills and support bullied students? Teachers, school mental health professionals, and administrators will find another item on their ever growing “To Do” list. Another responsibility in addition to teaching, preparing, grading, attending meetings, completing paperwork, talking to parents, and adapting to changes in the curriculum and assessment requirements can stress teachers who will be forced to squeeze one more thing into already bursting school days.
“200+ Ready-To-Use Reproducible Activity Sheets That Help Educators Take A Bite Out Of Bullying” by Phyllis Kaufman Goodstein saves teachers and school personnel time by putting a multitude of relevant, ready-to-use, and practical worksheets into their hands.
The book is divided into four sections: (1) surveys, (2) bullying facts, (3) strategies to lessen or end bullying, and (4) how to take care of yourself.
They help readers:
- increase knowledge and awareness
- take an introspective look at themselves
- explore feelings
- review their specific situation
- learn strategies that prevent, moderate, or end bullying
The worksheets can be used as a springboard for discussions and apply to those who are bullied, those who bully, and bystanders.
Samplings of some of the information students learn follows.
- Bullying Facts
- Can You Find Your Way to Safety – is a maze children complete illustrating the most common bullying locations (i.e. lunch room, playground, stairwells, bathrooms, hallways, locker rooms). It increases awareness of danger zones and asks kids to think of ways they can avoid harmful areas.
- Why the STARS Were Bullied – is a quiz that introduces readers to famous singers, comedians, producers, athletes, politicians, television, and movie stars who were bullied. It lets bullied children know that they are not the only ones who get bullied and not only can bullying be overcome but targets can achieve success and happiness.
- Strategies To Lessen or End Bullying
- Body Language Game – is a flash card game that helps children identify and describe body language. The previous pages identify student’s non assertive body language (i.e. showing emotion, moving a lot, looking down, slouching, freezing, touching, being too close) and how to read aggressive body language in others (i.e., staring, yelling, pointing, hands on hips, clenched jaw, frowning, sneering).
- Documenting Bullying Incidents – explains that bullying logs can serve as a form of evidence and can be important especially in light of the fact that those who bully often deny involvement. Information such as the date and time, location, what happened, names of aggressors and bystanders, the target’s reaction, and injuries or damage are included in logs.
- Taking Care of Yourself
- Building Your Self, Self-Esteem Game – is a “Cootie” type game where players “build” themselves by selecting positive self-esteem concepts that raise self-esteem.
- What is the Picture – is a puzzle activity that demonstrates why we should not judge people and situations, and make decisions after investigating and gathering all the facts.
- Chair-Share Exercise – allows children to express feelings. First, a student (playing the role of a “target”) is seated opposite an empty chair and imagines that someone who bullied him or her is sitting in it. The “target” talks to the empty chair (“the person who bullied”) describing how it feels to be bullied. Then, the child switches chairs and plays the role of the “person who bullied.” He or she responds to the “target’s” previously stated feelings. The child then switches back to the “target” role and then again to “the person who bullied,” responding to the stated feelings.
Perhaps the best way to find out the value of “200+ Ready-To-Use Reproducible Activity Sheets That Help Educators Take A Bite Out Of Bullying” is by hearing the feedback of readers. One educator said, “The activities are easy, fun, and approach this topic in so many ways that there is an ‘ah ha!’ moment for everyone.”
Phyllis Kaufman Goodstein is a licensed social worker (LMSW), author (“200+ Ready-To-Use Reproducible Activity Sheets That Help Educators Take A Bite Out Of Bullying,” “How to Stop Bullying in Classrooms and Schools,” and “Bystander Power”), educator, speaker, magician, and anti bullying advocate. She can be reached at PhyllisKaufmanGoodstein@gmail.com.