Be A Buddy, Not A Bully

Happy October!  It's National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month; have you seen Katie Snow's My Kid Would Never Bully series? It's so interesting when you put kids in a simulated real-life situation with hidden cameras and can watch them.   Education.com offers a great resource at their Bullying Information Center. Great Schools posted some really good info for parents here. Verizon also sponsors a site with some great anti-bullying information here. At Westwood, our theme is Be A Buddy, Not A Bully. We have No Tease Zone signs posted all around the school, and we approach the issue of peer cruelty proactively through our character education program.
     I use literature to help students realize that engaging in bullying behaviors and/or being a bystander is unacceptable. In Bird Child, the beautiful newcomer by Canadian author Nan Forler, little Eliza has a wise mom who has gifted her with a lifelong skill: "wings to fly," including the ability to see solutions to situations and choices for conflicts. Her mantra? "Look down and see what is. Now look up and see what can be." So when Lainey, the new student, is targeted by a group of bullies, Eliza finds a way to help Lainey and show her how to imagine the possibilities and be all that she can be. Eliza stands up for her new friend and helps put an end to the bullying behaviors.
     Research suggests that new students are the most likely target for bullies. How would Lainey's school experience have been different if Eliza had done nothing to help? What about if Eliza had joined in on the teasing? Give specific examples of how Eliza befriended Lainey? Was anyone else in the book an ally or upstander? Who were the bystanders? What could they have done differently? Ask students to talk about a time they've been in a bullying situation, either as the bully, the target or the bystander. What common feelings come out? What do they suggest doing to bully-proof themselves, their classmates, and their school?    
     A list of some of my other favorite illustrated-picture books with an anti-bullying theme is posted here; what do you do to address and prevent bullying in your character building?


  1. This is a good list of books that I will keep in mind for my kiddos. I think this topic is really important and teaching kids to stick up for themselves without telling them to hit or fight with the bully is a challenge I am not looking forward to as my baby gets big enough to encounter those issues.

  2. Well, BlogFriend.
    You made my day!
    My first blog recognition.
    You are such an inspiration!

    Can you believe my principal sent me a You Tube video on knitting (which I equated to Nuclear Physics, by the way!). She has already ordered needles and yarn! We're going to do it!

    Thanks for the award and the motivation.
    You have led us in a wonderful direction!

    Link back to my blog to see your recognition (though I know you only do this from your heart!)



  3. There is a CD called "Be a Buddy, Not a Bully" for young children--Nursery school-3rd grade--with upbeat songs to try to combat bullying.
    You can download the songs:





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