We’ve all heard the words…….those biting, painful, judgmental words that puncture the spirit and cut deeply into the self-esteem. “Teasing becomes bullying when it is repetitive or when there is a conscious intent to hurt another child. It can be verbal bullying (making threats, name-calling), psychological bullying (excluding children, spreading rumors), or physical bullying (hitting, pushing, taking a child’s possessions).*
Teasing can and does have profound effects on students. Bullying of this type is as old as time, and will likely always be a major issue at schools. But, there are things teachers and schools can do to combat its prevalence. It begins with knowing what to look for. Below is a list of some basic warning signs to be aware of, as well as a list of tips to help your school eradicate teasing from its walls.
Who is most at risk to be teased or bullied?
“Victims of bullying are often shy and tend to be physically weaker than their peers. They may also have low self-esteem and poor social skills, which makes it hard for them to stand up for themselves. Bullies consider these children safe targets because they usually don’t retaliate.”*.
- Increased passivity or withdrawal
- Frequent crying
- Recurrent complaints of physical symptoms such as stomach-aches or headaches with no apparent cause
- Unexplained bruises
- Sudden drop in grades or other learning problems
- Not wanting to go to school
- Significant changes in social life — suddenly no one is calling or extending invitations
- Sudden change in the way your child talks — calling himself or herself a loser, or a former friend a jerk
Tips for Eliminating Teasing at Your School:
- This lesson plan shows how different points of view can be from the bullied vs the bully: https://www.education.com/lesson-plan/whose-side-of-the-story/.
- Implement a TRIBES approach to create an anti-bullying school climate. See this link for explanation and details on the process:http://www.education.com/reference/article/positive-school-climate-reduces-bullying/
- Make a point to increase student awareness and understanding of teasing and bullying. Use the P3R Classroom Resource to help direct this process. See this link for further information:http://www.education.com/reference/article/enhance-students-attitudes-bullying/
- Other ideas for eliminating teasing and bullying:http://www.education.com/reference/article/identify-understand-effects-bullying/.
- Consider implementing the NoBully system at your school. Visit this link for details:http://www.nobully.com/
* Scholastic Parents. (n.d.). Retrieved 12 6, 2012, from scholastic: http://www.scholastic.com/