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Importance of Bullying Education

With the rise of social media in recent decades, educators have seen an increase in both cyberbullying and traditional bullying among school-aged youth. In recognition of this, many schools have made bullying awareness and prevention a priority. The first step in making a difference is education. Faculty, staff, parents, and students all need to be educated in identifying, responding to, and preventing bullying. This guide provides some suggestions for using storyboards to educate your school community about bullying.

Anti-Bullying Training for Faculty and Staff

Before addressing bullying with the full school community, educators must take two essential steps to prepare.


  1. Faculty and staff must first establish a common understanding of what bullying is and how to best address it.

  2. The faculty and administration should create clear policies for handling bullying. This includes methods of intervention and disciplinary action.

To establish a common understanding of bullying and appropriate intervention, schools should consider formal teacher training. Some schools may choose to hire a professional bullying prevention presenter. Very often, teachers may have an incomplete idea of the forms bullying takes. Less tech-savvy adults may be especially unfamiliar with the realities of cyberbullying. A trained presenter can update your faculty with the latest trends and technologies to be aware of. In addition, presenters generally break down bullying prevention into concrete, accessible steps.

If your school chooses not to hire a presenter, it is a good idea to select a representative from among the faculty and staff (such as a counselor or a qualified teacher) to present to the school. Storyboards can be helpful in presenting illustrative scenarios in these presentations. Faculty and staff can benefit from the step-by-step visuals the storyboards provide. Instructing teachers to simply “intervene” during a bullying incident, for example, may result in inconsistent responses. Your school may achieve a more uniform implementation if instruction is accompanied by a breakdown of appropriate actions as demonstrated in the storyboard below.

Storyboards can also be useful for breaking down school handbook policies to new hires or the staff as a whole. Consider reinforcing your procedure for handling a bullying incident with a step-by-step storyboard like the one featured below. Keep your audience engaged by using avatars to represent your own faculty and staff members!

Teaching Students About Bullying

Once faculty and staff are trained in your procedures for handling and discussing bullying, the next step is to raise awareness among students and parents. The more students understand the characteristics, causes, and consequences of bullying, the more likely they will be to identify bullying and take action. When students are comfortable discussing a topic, they are also more likely to approach others for help.

The internet offers many ways to teach students about bullying prevention. Your school may also find a presenter to address the students or a particular program to use in health class or general assemblies. It is important to choose an approach that works best for your student population.

Many schools rely on simple acronyms to teach important concepts in a memorable way. Consider using storyboards to present these acronyms. You can make your own example and print it out on a poster, or you can have students illustrate their own acronym storyboards to demonstrate their understanding of bullying prevention. The storyboards below provide just a few examples of acronyms used in some schools.


S.T.O.P.

From CBN.com


S

STOP

Stand up to the bully. Use your words to tell him to STOP hurting you.
T

TAKE

Take appropriate action to get away from the bully. Walk or run if need be, or get an adult.
O

OPEN

Open up to a trusted adult in your life, like a parent, teacher, coach, or church leader.
P

PROTECT

Protect yourself from bullies by staying in groups or near teachers.

S.T.A.N.D.

From Bully Proof

S

STAND

Stand tall and walk in a way that shows you are a person deserving respect. Your body language can help prevent you from being a target.
T

TELL

Tell an appropriate adult. Telling to prevent a dangerous situation is not tattling.
A

AVOID

Avoid being in harm's way. Getting away from a dangerous situation is not being a coward. It's being smart.
N

NO

Say NO to the bully's demands from the start. If you appease a bully about small things, he'll just demand more.
(Exception: If you are in physical danger, you may need to go along until you can report it to the police. It's not worth being injured over lunch money.)
D

DEVELOP

Develop friendships - people who will stand up for each other - a caring community. Support others and ask for support. If someone is being bullied, speak up. If someone is excluded, include them in your play.


P.R.I.D.E.

From Illinois Elementary School in Park Forest, IL

Cited in Chicago Tribune


P

PROMISE

Promise to stop what I'm doing
R

REFLECT

Reflect on what I am saying
I

IDENTIFY

Identify what others are feeling
D

DO

Do my best to help those who are being bullied
E

ENCOURAGE

Encourage my friends to speak out against bullying too

Teachers may also consider addressing bullying through literature. A number of popular children’s and young adult books address the theme of bullying in meaningful contexts. The list below provides some suggestions for novels to use in your classroom.


Reading on Bullying for Students and Teachers

  1. The New Girl by Meg Cabot
  2. Secret Identity by Wendelin Van Draanen
  3. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
  4. Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  5. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  6. The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale
  7. The Truth about Truman School by Dori Hillestad Butler
  8. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  9. Bystander by James Preller
  10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  11. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Related Activities

Check out all of our Anti-Bullying Activities or one of the activities below.






How to Use Storyboards to Educate about Bullying

1

Establish a Common Understanding

Provide anti-bullying training for faculty and staff to ensure everyone has a shared understanding of what bullying is and how to address it effectively. Consider hiring a professional presenter or selecting a knowledgeable representative to conduct the training.

2

Create Clear Policies

Work with faculty and administration to establish clear policies for handling bullying incidents, including intervention strategies and disciplinary actions. Use storyboards to visually illustrate the step-by-step procedures and ensure consistent implementation.

3

Present to the School Community

Educate students and parents about bullying by raising awareness and providing information on its characteristics, causes, and consequences. Consider inviting presenters or implementing specific programs for student engagement. Use storyboards to present memorable acronyms or key concepts, either by creating your own examples or having students illustrate their own storyboard versions.

4

Utilize Online Resources

Explore online resources and programs that can support bullying prevention education. Utilize interactive platforms, presentations, or videos to engage students and enhance their understanding of bullying prevention strategies.

5

Incorporate Acronyms and Scenarios

Use storyboards to present acronyms that teach important concepts in a memorable way. Create or display examples of acronyms such as S.T.O.P., S.T.A.N.D., or P.R.I.D.E. These storyboards can be printed as posters or created by students to demonstrate their understanding of bullying prevention. Additionally, develop storyboards that depict realistic bullying scenarios to prompt discussions and encourage students to think critically about appropriate responses.

6

Explore Bullying Themes in Literature

Incorporate literature that addresses the theme of bullying into the curriculum. Select books such as "Wonder" by R. J. Palacio or "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson to engage students in meaningful discussions about bullying, empathy, and resilience. Use storyboards to visually represent key scenes or character interactions from the books, promoting deeper understanding and reflection.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bullying Prevention & Education

What should I do if I suspect that my child is bullying others?

If you suspect that your child is engaging in bullying behavior, it's important to take action as soon as possible. This can be a difficult and emotional situation for both you and your child, but addressing the behavior is crucial for the well-being of all involved. The first step is to talk to your child in an open and non-judgmental way. Try to get a sense of why they may be bullying others and how they are feeling. It's important to let your child know that bullying is not acceptable and can have serious consequences. If necessary, seek help from a school counselor, therapist, or other professional who can guide you in addressing the behavior and any underlying issues that may be contributing to it. Encourage your child to apologize and make amends to anyone they may have hurt, and work with school officials to create a plan for addressing the behavior and preventing it from happening again. Finally, model positive behavior for your child by showing them what it means to be kind, empathetic, and respectful to others.

What are some strategies for responding to cyberbullying, which can happen outside of school and online?

Cyberbullying is a serious issue that can have a significant impact on children's mental health and well-being. If you suspect that your child is being cyberbullied, or if they have engaged in cyberbullying behavior themselves, there are several strategies you can use to respond. First, it's important to document any evidence of the cyberbullying, including screenshots of messages or posts. You can then report the behavior to the appropriate authorities, such as the school or internet service provider. Encourage your child to block the person who is bullying them and to avoid engaging with them online. It's also important to provide emotional support for your child and to help them develop coping strategies for dealing with the emotional impact of cyberbullying. Encourage your child to speak up if they witness cyberbullying happening to someone else, and teach them to be responsible digital citizens by modeling positive online behavior. Finally, it's important to have ongoing conversations with your child about cyberbullying and to monitor their online activity to ensure their safety and well-being.

How can I talk to my child about bullying in a way that is age-appropriate and effective?

Talking to children about bullying is crucial for their emotional and social development. However, it can be challenging to approach this topic in an age-appropriate and effective way. One way to do this is to start early by teaching young children about kindness, empathy, and respect. Use simple language and examples that your child can relate to. Emphasize the importance of empathy and help your child understand how their actions can impact others. Encourage your child to speak up if they witness bullying happening to someone else and help them come up with assertive responses to bullying. Role-playing can be an effective way to help your child practice responding to bullying in a safe and supportive environment. Reinforce positive behavior by praising your child when they are kind, empathetic, and respectful to others. Finally, as your child grows and matures, continue to have open and honest conversations about bullying and the importance of treating others with kindness and respect.

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