Trying to Combat Acts of Bullying with Acts of Kindness

Bullying is an issue at most schools, and unfortunately it is no different at mine. This year though, we’re trying something new. On Thursday, we launched our “Stand Up” to bullying campaign. Our project was inspired by a project that our VP saw about a principal in the states. We kind of thought…if they can do it…maybe we can too. The idea is to create a culture of kindness in your school, so that acts of bullying are less likely to occur because of the expectations of students, and the emphasis on the positive.

To begin with, all of the classes entered a logo contest to design an anti-bullying logo that would be screen-printed on t-shirts that students would wear on “Kindness Fridays”. One of my grade 7 students won the contest with his “Stand Up” logo, and we went with a nice bright orange color for the shirts. Sponsers’ dollars helped to fund these shirts!

Students had to do an act of kindness in order to earn the right to receive their shirts. Classes did everything from creating artwork for the local hospital residents, to collecting food for the food bank, helping out with the morning snack program and so much more! Students also had the chance to create an anti-bullying pledge for our school and the pledge that was chosen was placed on a banner for all of us to sign.

We had a huge assembly to launch this whole project, in which the students shared the acts of kindness that they did, received their shirts (class by class), we even had a local celebrity to play for us, which was a surprise for the kids! Here’s a little video clip…

(It may or may not be me step-dancing in the last 5 seconds of the video with one of my students;)

 

We have a “Hallway of Heroes” to highlight students who have been particularly kind, and we’ll be wearing these shirts (as a reminder of what we’ve all pledged) every Friday.

 

I think that being covered in the local newspaper and on the Island news (my kids did the opening and our story’s on about 11 min. 40 seconds in to the program) really helped to show students the importance and legitimacy of what we’re doing. 

I’m really proud of what we were able to initiate with this program and even if it helps one student to Stand Up for himself or another student, it will have been time well spent.

 

Just for your information…some popular “anti-bullying” titles…

 
The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up For Others

Confessions of a Former Bully

Just Kidding

My Secret Bully

The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to HighSchool–How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle (Updated Edition)

Bullying Prevention and Intervention: Realistic Strategies for Schools (Guilford Practical Intervention in the Schools)

assessing writing in middle school

 

 

 

About krystalmills

I am a Grade 7 teacher in Prince Edward Island. Lessons From The Middle shares lessons from the classroom, and occasionally from my life as a mom of two young boys. The goal of this Canadian teacher blog is to share middle school lessons, activities and ideas from my classroom and to collaborate with the wonderful online community of teachers out there as well! Thanks for stopping by!   Find me on Facebook Twitter Pinterest Browse my TPT Store Browse my TN Store

Posted on February 3, 2013, in Bullying, Education, General Teaching, Middle School, Professional Reading and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. There is so much to teach…and yet what could ultimately be more important than kindness? Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you!

  2. It is SO sad that bullying is still an issue in schools. I work at a career center where hundreds of students go to get away from that very issue. Thanks for sharing!

    PS: I found your blog via TBTS (I’m a new “student”) and I am also a part of your AWESOME giveaway!

    Brittany
    http://thesuperheroteacher.blogspot.com/

  3. What a great idea! When I taught Kindergarten, I used to read the book, KINDNESS IS COOLER, MRS. RULER. One year, for the 100th day of school, students tried to “collect” 100 acts of kindness. They wrote down the kind things they did, shared them aloud during circle time, and even emailed them to me with their parents. This was a great way to focus on kindness in the classroom, and I really noticed the difference in their interactions with peers. I would love to hear more about your anti-bullying campaign. What are individual classes doing to build this culture of kindness?

    Aviva
    http://www.weinspirefutures.com

    • Actually, it’s funny that you mention the 100 acts of kindness. Most classes having been doing the 100 Acts of Kindness as a challenge this month. They write their act on a heart and we have a display where we’ve been posting them. Another class is creating a chain of their acts of kindness, running down the hallway. Acts of kindness are also being done out in the community, in some cases and of course at home. Bullying is something that will probably always exist. But if we start early – kindergarten – showing kids how to be nice to each other…well – it can’t hurt!

      Krystal

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