Goodbye Bully Machine on Stage!

Screen Shot 2012-11-30 at 11.13.09 PMThis year I decided to rework our fourth grade bullying prevention unit so that it builds upon the visually rich and thought-provoking book Goodbye Bully Machine by Debbie Fox. We’re in the midst of it now, and it’s going really well. I’ll share all the lessons and resources once we’ve completed the unit, but am so excited that I wanted to share this piece of it right away! Today our fourth graders put on a play based on the book, and you can see it in this video. (It runs a little more than 6 minutes.) (more…)

Austin Police Tell Kids, “It Gets Better!”

Here’s a moving video from the Austin, Texas Police Department and the It Gets Better project. In it, uniformed officers, victims’ advocates, and other police department employees share their experiences, encouragement, and support for young LGBT people. Central to the video is a powerful and direct statement from Art Acevedo, the Chief of Police in Austin, about acceptance for all, regardless of differences: (more…)

Will U Stand?

My heart swells when kids take action to make the world a better place for others. Today it’s practically bursting because of willUstand, a bullying prevention initiative by a local Vermonter, 12-year-old, Charleigh Gere, who is using music to share the message that “bystanders can make a difference and that when someone stands for another, they gift hope.” I am so excited about willUstand for several reasons (freebie alert!): (more…)

Helping the “Cafeteria Fringe”

At the library the other day, I picked up a copy of The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins. The book gives an inside view of what it’s like to be a member of the “cafeteria fringe” — marginalized kids who are ignored and/or tormented by other students. It follows six students and (spoiler alert) a marginalized teacher at different high schools — self-identified band geek, loner, new girl, gamer, loner, nerd, and “popular” girl trying to break out of her mean girl group and image. Robbins’ premise, which she calls “quirk theory,” is that the very characteristics that can lead (more…)

Brave, Bold First Graders

In my previous post, I outlined how I used a comprehensive counseling approach to address a first grade bullying situation through classroom teaching, small groups, and individual counseling.  (Read about it here.) In this and upcoming posts, I’ll share the lessons from the new first grade bullying unit I developed. (Related ASCA standards are listed at the end of this post.) The objective for the bullying unit was:

When students experience or witness bullying they will be able to:

  1. differentiate between mean and bullying behaviors.
  2. recognize that bullying should be reported to school staff.
  3. use a script to report bullying to school staff.
  4. tell another school staff member if the first adult does not believe or understand the report. (more…)
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