Students will actually make this statement and expect the authoritative person to believe this as truth. As an observer, I shake my head and wonder how this child’s thinking became so confused. Calmly, I separate the individuals, providing a “cooling off” period for the students.
Giving students who are accused of bullying some time to reflect on their behavior before questioning them generally leads to a more relaxed and honest conversation. Questioning and blaming immediately after an incident prompts anger, denial, and frustration. After attending to the child who has been hurt, query the victim. Listen for the events that were the pre-curser to the physical attack. Each child will obviously have an independent perspective of the situation. Discernment requires attentive listening to the aggressor, also. When the individuals are brought together for a resolution, remind students the importance of trust and safety needed. Provide both individuals the opportunity either in the group setting or individually to share concerns that they have about trust and safety on the school campus.
A key factor to remember, students may need to be taught anger management. When there is not a conflict occurring, discuss with your students different ways they can handle their problems without using aggression. Another option is role playing in small groups with a counselor’s guidance which has also helped students in difficult social situations. Students can begin implementing new strategies when they have a choice of solutions.
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.