Students are called from their desks to line up for lunch. All students will have the same opportunity to walk through the lunch line and have the same time to eat. So, why then is there always a student who insists on pushing their way through the line? Like dominoes, the students are pushing for their place in line. Out of the corner of his eye, Mr. Hill knows that Jose is the guilty student. Mr. Hill approaches the culprit who initiated the activity, “He pushed me first.” This is a repeated problem.
This isolated incident may appear to be nothing to worry about. However, it is a warning sign. Bullies develop patterns of behavior which a trained observer can even predict. If the lunch line pushing was the only behavior, a simple classroom management change may quickly eliminate the behavior. However, bullying behavior happens often and over a period of time.
Amazingly many bullies may not even consider their behaviors as that of a bully. Consider discussing bullying in class. Provide an opportunity for students to share what things bullies do. Allow guided problem solving discussion. Can the students agree on a simple phrase to tell bullies that they are being bullies? Can a phrase be established which a student can use with their teacher to communicate that they are seeing a bully behavior? The goal is for the bully, victim, and by-standers to develop more awareness of the behavior.
A key factor to remember, students need support and language when faced with a bully. Students are also confused with telling and tattling. Telling is an action when some one is hurt or to prevent people from being hurt. Tattling is when some one becomes hurt as a result of the telling. As students become older, the issue of being a Snitch also needs to be addressed. Students must learn discernment to know when to tell and when not to tell.
While on a school campus, phrases of bullies always gain my attention. How do I know the phrases bullies like to use? I was once a bully. So, if you want bullying to go away, I believe that everyone needs to be aware of the bully’s excuses and create a plan to eliminate its power.
For additional suggestions, visit Billy Speaks, your trusted Bully Advisor.