During the months of September and October, we focus on respect and empathy. I teach the Second Step Bullying Prevention unit with grades K-5th. There are four focuses of each lesson of the curriculum.
1. Recognizing Bullying
The first lesson focuses on recognizing bullying. Bullying is defined as when someone keeps being mean on purpose. It happens over and over again. It is unfair and one-sided, meaning that the person it is happening to isn't being mean back and hasn't been able to make it stop. Now, let's be clear, we are not okay with any form of unkind or mean behavior at Lincoln. We just respond differently to bullying than other forms of conflict. Recognizing bullying is the first step in addressing the problem, which leads us to our next focus.
2. Reporting Bullying
Reporting bullying is the next step. We discuss why telling a trusted adult is so important. I have them identify a trusted adult that they feel safe to report the bullying to. We encourage them to report the bullying to their parents, as well as ensuring that an adult at the school knows. We will immediately take action to stop the bullying and provide support to the student. If the student hopes to address the problem on their own, we still like to help them practice words to say and keep an eye out if the bullying doesn't stop.
3. Refusing Bullying
The 3rd of the "3 R's of Bullying" (recognize, report, refuse) is refusing bullying. Refusing bullying involves using a strong and respectful voice to tell the bully to stop. The voice must be strong in order to be taken seriously, and respectful in order to keep from exacerbating the problem.
4. Bystander Power!
I have the students say "Bystander POWA" in their best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice (although some kids don't know who he is anymore, wow!). We discuss how bullying is everyone's problem and if they see something, they need to say something!
What can you do as a parent? Let us know if your child reports any instances of bullying. Talk to your child about the importance of telling someone if they see anything going on. We strive to be a kindness-filled school at Lincoln, and it takes all of us to get there.