Teaching about Bullying in the Classroom

Awareness, Reaction, and Prevention

As educators, we play a huge part in creating safer schools and communities by teaching students about bullying. Teaching about bullying in the classroom is important because it helps prevent issues within the classroom, and creates a welcoming learning environment. We must teach kids that mistreating anyone is wrong whether it be in person, online, or through text/phone. Twenty percent of students ages 12-18 reported experiencing bullying at school, and 15 % of those were bullied online or by text. This is why it is so important to teach to kids.

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Use this FREE Bullying Intervention Behavior Toolbox that helps to identify and intervene with bullying behaviors to teach about bulling in your classroom with ease. You can also use this Character Education: Digital Citizenship resource to cover Cyberbullying.

Children's Books about Bullying are another great way to introduce this topic to students!

So, how can we teach bullying to students in our classrooms?

  1. Awareness
  2. Reaction
  3. Prevention
bullying-in-the-classroom

AWARENESS

We must be aware of the different types of bullying our students can encounter and share this information with our students. This step must occur before we can expect students to react appropriately to bullying or take steps to prevent it.

Physical bullying

This is often the most obvious type of bullying behavior to recognize. Physical bullying involves harming a person’s body or possessions. Hitting, tripping, pushing, and damaging one’s property are examples of physical bullying.

Emotional bullying

Emotional bullying is saying or writing mean words about someone. It usually starts out in a joking manner but can escalate quickly. Examples include teasing, name calling, intimidation, and sexual or racist remarks.

Cyberbullying 

Cyberbullying is online bullying. It is usually anonymous. Cyberbullying can include inappropriate or mean social media posts or texts, spreading rumors online, threatening a person by using their login information, or intentionally excluding someone online.

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REACTION

After students can identify signs of different types of bullying, we should teach them to notify teachers or other school professionals when being bullied or seeing others being bullied. 

It is helpful to let your students know the difference between “telling” and “tattling” so that they are not afraid of speaking up when harmful situations may arise.

Use Resources

Pre-made resources are super helpful to hand on hand for quick lessons on bullying. 

For Identify Bullying and Interventions: The FREE Behavior Intervention Toolbox: Bullying: includes classroom behavior interventions for students who act like bullies. Inside, you will find behavior observations, research based interventions, and what NOT to do.

This resource also includes a quick summary guide to use as a reference in RtI meetings when needing to quickly select interventions.

bullying freebie

For Teaching Behavior You Want (Kindness): Another favorite resource of mine is this one that helps teach kindness in the classroom. You will find print and non-print options, several forms and supplemental pieces, 9 activities and decor pieces. It literally gives you everything you need to teach kindness to your students! 

For Teaching about Cyberbullying: This Character Education Digital Citizenship resource covers Cyberbullying, online safety, social media kindness, digital etiquette, and more. This resource is an easy print and go or digital learning tool.

social media kindness

With these resources, you seriously won’t have to think about anything else when teaching bullying in your classroom! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Books & Videos about Bullying

Books are a great tool to use when teaching students about bullying. Students can relate to characters as they respond to bullies as the one being bullied or a bystander. Books are also helpful to teach students with tendencies to bully how to change and demonstrate kindness and care for others.

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I get a small commission that costs you nothing and helps me continue to provide this content.

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Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig

DJ is being teased by another boy named Vince at school. Vince says hurtful comments to DJ but shrugs them off each time by saying “just kidding”. DJ is nervous to tell anyone how he feels because he might be viewed as a “tattletale”. One day after DJ becomes upset at home, he decides to talk to his dad about the bullying. DJ’s dad helps him by teaching him a strategy to use when Vince speaks in this way to him. DJ’s teacher also supports him by teaching him the difference between tattling and reporting. She encourages DJ to spend time with classmates who make him feel good, instead of ones who speak negatively to him.

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Bully by Patricia Pollaco

Lyla and Jamie become great friends on the first day of sixth grade. Lyla makes the cheerleading team, and the “popular girls” invite her to join them. She realizes that Jamie is left behind. She sees them teasing Jamie and other classmates on Facebook, and she knows that being a part of their friend group isn’t for her. The popular girls don’t stop easily though and are now out for revenge.

The Weird Series by Erin Frankel

This series follows 3 girls, Luisa (in Weird!), Jayla (in Dare!), and Sam (in Tough!). Luisa is being bullied by Sam, and Jayla is a bystander who used to be bullied by Sam. Reading the entire series Weird! helps create a cohesive understanding of bullying for students and how they should react from each perspective: the bully, the bullied, and the bystander.

Check out this blog post with more recommendations and reviews about Children’s books about Bullying.

Videos are another great resource to use when teaching about bullying in the classroom!

Protect Yourself Rules - Bullying Video

This one is an awesome 4-minute video about bullying.

PREVENTION

National statistics report that 1 in 6 students have been the victim of bullying or watched others being bullied. 

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Bullying isn’t something that we can just let fall to the wayside. 

Talk to your school administration about leading a positive character education campaign. Encourage kindness, empathy, and compassion while discouraging name calling and other forms of bullying. 

Consider rallying your school or grade level together to sign a “Stop Bullying” pledge. The more people in your school that are on board, the better!

How will you address bullying with your students?

Check out other products in my Character Education series:

Respect - Character Education & Social Emotional Learning activities

Responsibility - Character Education & Social Emotional Learning activities

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