Status of Bullying
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Discuss examples of groups denied their rights in history.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.

Learners define bullying and identify the effects of bullying behavior on the individuals involved and the larger community. The learners create a survey or use another method to collect and report on the perceived status of bullying behavior at their school. They survey students, school staff, and families.

PrintOne 50-Minute Session, plus time for a survey

The learner will:

  • identify the causes and effects of bullying.
  • identify a need in the school through research.
  1. Anticipatory Set

    Start a discussion about bullying behavior by sharing a video, cartoon, or story about the topic.

  2. Ask the learners what evidence there is that bullying is a problem at their school.

  3. Define bullying behavior as repeated negative behavior with a desire to harm someone with less power (size, strength, or other perceived imbalance of power). The aggressor appears to enjoy the interaction, and the victim feels oppressed. Discuss why a single unkind act might not be considered bullying.

  4. Display the Forms of Bullying in the handout below. Read through the list together and allow time for discussion of examples or personal observations. (Set the expectation of not using names.)

  5. Ask what they believe are some of the effects of bullying behavior on the individuals involved (aggressor, victim, bystander), the school, and the community.

  6. Bullying affects how people feel about themselves, one another, and the safety of the community. The victims of bullying behavior have lower attendance, grades, and graduation rates. And in extreme cases, victims react with violence or commit suicide as a direct result of bullying. Bullying behavior affects more than the victim. The bystanders are traumatized as they agonize over how to respond. School climate of communication and safety decrease with tolerance for bullying. The whole community is affected when its youth are violent or traumatized. Youth who bully may have violent tendencies, and aggression does not stop at the school door. People who are involved carry the issues into other areas of their lives.

    Explain that bullying can be based on discrimination, or treating people unfairly based on groups they belong to or how a person looks, dresses, or acts.

  7. Ask them to name occurrences in history where whole groups of people were bullied or victimized by a dominant culture (e.g., Jews in Europe; protesters in African dictatorships, people who are victims of racism). Discuss examples in history of groups who were denied their rights and how people reacted to the unfair situation.

  8. Discuss what they can learn from history about how a community responds to injustice. What leaders emerged to stand up to the injustice and what did they do to help the victims? Discuss the attributes of someone who helps others by standing up to injustice.

  9. Ask them how they can collect data to get an accurate picture of the status of bullying. They may create a survey and collect data from students, school staff, and families about the status of bullying. You may need to give them a review lesson on sampling, creating a survey, and how to collect and record data in a graph or chart.

  10. Discuss the results of the survey:

    • What is the nature and evidence of bullying? Discuss the causes and effects.
    • Are people responding effectively to bullying behavior?
    • What could we do to make the situation better?