Posted by krystalmills
I want you to consider for a moment, all of the wonderful and amazing accomplishments of the human race – on Planet Earth. We put a man on the moon…and beyond. Technology is advancing on a daily basis, beyond the imaginations of the generations that came before. Diseases that used to wipe out entire communities can now be treated with a simple inoculation. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. So, I ask myself: Why can’t we stop kids from being cruel to one another?
It happens in everyone’s classroom and school. If you think that it doesn’t happen in your room, I would ask you to consider all of the time that you are out of your students’ sight and earshot: between classes, in the washroom, out on the playground. It happens. Bullying. If it doesn’t happen at your school – PLEASE tell the rest of us your secret.
We know that bullying is not just pushing and shoving anymore. It’s hurtful text messages and trashing people online. Of course, the physical side is part of the picture – it always will be. But there are many facets to bullying now, with that advanced technology that I mentioned earlier. One other thing – boys and girls bully differently – so keep that in mind when you’re taking an inventory of your class’s interactions.
Bullying has been around since the beginning of time, I believe. Unfortunately, I don’t see it getting a WHOLE lot better any time soon. Yes, there are amazing initiatives and programs coming out and those are wonderful. We need more of that! But, at the end of the day, I keep thinking about who, from my classroom – in my school is going home upset about something that happened at school. Something that I didn’t see or wasn’t around for. Something, that I don’t even know about. How many? I’d love to say none, and I hope that that’s true. I’m a realist, though, and if you know me at all – you know that I love math. The odds are against me. Chances are, that someone (or many someones) were bullied in some form. Being that I’m in Canada, I found some recent stats for bullying in this country. I looked at the US as well though, and the picture is much the same. Being that I teach grade 7, my eyes are drawn to the “middle grades”.
These stats are provided by an organization called PREVnet, trying to end bullying.
The numbers may be startling to you, or no surprise at all. Whatever the case, bullying is a problem. If you are a teacher, it’s your problem. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you need to “find the cure” so to speak. However, be aware that it does happen to over half of kids – boys and girls. Junior high, in particular, is a rough time on the best of days – without bullying being an issue as well. Keep your eyes and ears open and try not to ignore. We can all just do what we can do. I came across the video below, as I was searching online. It’s only a few minutes long. Please take the time to watch it. I do not know this family, but my heart goes out to them. No one thinks that this will happen to them, in their town and their lives, until it does.
This is Kristina’s story.
PLEASE check with your administrator first, if you’re thinking about showing this video to students.
Please, keep Kristina’s story in mind when you’re dealing with bullying in your classroom and in your school. It happens. It happens when we don’t or can’t see it. It happens to “good kids” and “straight A” students. It happens to too many of our kids.
So, what can we do about it? How can we prevent or even abolish bullying? What is the cure? I don’t have the answers – lots of questions, but no answers. Being a teacher, of course I turn for answers in books. I have come across three that look promising – I haven’t ordered them yet, though. Are any of you familiar with these titles? Do you have any book title recommendations for the rest of us? Please share!