Although difficult to admit, it is quite likely that each of us has engaged in gossip or rumor spreading at some point in our lives. We have all felt the sting of humiliation from gossip when it has been directed at ourselves, and have likely been a party to someone else’s humiliation as well.
Words can be quite hurtful, and can cause tremendous heartache and problems for those victimized by this form of bullying. Yes, gossip is simply another form of bullying.
Today’s schools would benefit strongly from establishing and enforcing a zero tolerance policy on bullying of any kind within the building. It is essential, then, for schools and teachers to be as proactive as possible about the presence of gossip among their students.
Below are some tips for understanding and preventing gossip, as well as some helpful websites on the topic..
For better understanding:
- Explain the difference between talking and gossiping
- Identify what makes gossip – words that are mean, untrue, or revealing
- Connect gossip to bullying
- Role-play with students what gossip is and what it feels like
- Discuss the effects of gossip
For prevention, encourage students to:
- Stay away from people who gossip
- Recognize that if they gossip TO you, they will likely gossip ABOUT you as well
- Teach empathy
- Ignore gossip or rumors, and don’t repeat them
- Be careful whom they share secrets with
Also Check out these helpful websites for further information about the issues of gossip: