January - Bullying Prevention

„Don’t Laugh at Me“

„Don’t Laugh at Me“ started as a song written by Allen Shamblin and Steve Seskin, and recorded by American country music artist Mark Wills. It was released in July 1998 and was a number 2 hit on the Billboard country charts. Allen Shamblin was inspired to write the song after his school-aged daughter came home and confided that she was being teased by her peers because of her freckles.

The text/lyrics of “Don’t Laugh at Me” focus on the ridicule suffered by a boy with glasses, a girl who wears braces and a wheelchair-bound child, among others, ultimately uniting the voices of the bullied in the verse "Don't laugh at me./ Don't call me names./ Don't get your pleasure from my pain.

 

“My Secret Bully”

Monica, the main character, is bullied by her close friend Katie. Among other things, Katie whispers about Monica to groups of mutual friends, tells her who she should and shouldn’t play with, ignores her and intentionally leaves her out of activities. Katie targets Monica with relational and social aggression. Monica’s mom notices Monica’s sudden stomachaches and asks if something is going on at school. She listens to her daughter, which leaves Monica feeling loved, appreciated and accepted. With the support and advice of her mother, Monica learns to reclaim her personal power, to stand up to her bully and find new friends.

The ultimate solution to Monica’s problem seems a bit quick and simple – all she has to do make the bullying stop for good is to look her secret bully Katie “straight in the eyes” and say, “Does it make you feel good to make me feel bad? Because friends don’t do that to friends.” Real-life relational aggression will take a bit more work to stop, but Trudy Ludwig gives the reader an excellent and practical starting point.

 

Both books are about bullying. In the classroom, it was discussed:

  • how to be a good friend ( friendship boosters versus busters)
  • to accept  differences
  • that hurtful words and actions can leave a lasting impression on others and may result in a loss of friendship
  • how to respond to bullying behavior:

o   Tell the bully to stop –only if you feel safe doing so.

o   Use I-messages: I feel sad when …

o   Know that it is not your fault. (Use positive self-talk)

o   Know that you don’t deserve it

o   If possible, remove yourself from the situation. Report bullying behaviors to an adult you trust

o   Hang out with people who let you be you

o   Use humor to deflect teasing.

o   Don’t respond to bullying behaviors by becoming a bucket dipper yourself.

Lower and upper grades did a “wrinkled heart activity” to understand the consequences of bullying and our lesson plan suggests for upper grades also a role play in order to practice how to respond to teasing and bullying.