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 How to solve a bully problem? 
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I was talking with a friend the other day about how to take care of bully situations that happen during the school day. How would you stop a child from getting bullied in your classroom? Some say that they let the students resolve the problem by themselves, but I dont think I could let that happened if I saw a child being emotionally hurt, I would have to step in an give my 2-cents.

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Katie Stephens


Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:45 pm
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I agree with your urges to step-in because I think that everyone should. I think that as a teacher if you let a chlde be bullied then you are helping the problem. Most of the time you might be the only person that can tell anything is wrong or the only one that cares. If you don't prevent that child from getting bullied around then they will probably suffer there whole life. As to the best way to deal with a bully, I have know clue what you should do. If you punish the bully he or she will probably act up more and if you single out the student that is being bullied then they will be very ashamed.
I think that communication would be a big way to solve the problem. If you know both sides of the story it is easier to understand why their was a probem. Then you should talk to the parents. If you know the bully's background then he or she might act that way because of how they were raised.

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Charlene Leonard


Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:59 pm
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as a dude who used to be quite small and sometimes bullied, i'd like to say that while it's important for teachers to step in when somebody's obviously being hurt (physically, emotionally, or otherwise), things from the students' perspectives are always going to be quite complicated...in other words, there is a very real threat of the student being ashamed for being "helped" by the teacher, as charlene pointed out.

of course, this does NOT mean that you have to just let it be and allow the social dynamic to work itself out. what i'd recommend, though--and i think this goes for ANY bullying situation--is that it's important to know how the students perceive and experience the bullying. get as much of a sense as you can of what the overall situation is. is someone being picked on by almost everybody, or do they have support from friends? do the other students side with the bully or do they have sympathy for the student being picked on and see the bully as...well, as a bully? most importantly, talk to the student who's being picked on as soon as you notice what's going on, but do it in private, away from his or her peers. ask them if it's really a problem, if they feel threatened, etc.

i say this because i know that my own situation could have looked like i needed "help" from a teacher's perspective, but i never felt like i needed a teacher to step in and intervene NOR did i want them to! i knew i had real friends and that most of the kids in my grade would have stood up against whatever big guy happened to want to make fun of me or push me in the hallway between classes. in my case, i would have been embarrassed if a teacher had stepped in and done something to this or that bully ;x probably would have made things worse for me.

BUT...like i said, the most important thing is to know what the student thinks about what's going on, once you notice it. i would have appreciated a teacher asking me, "hey doug, i noticed _____ likes to pick on you when he thinks i'm not watching. what's up? are you okay?" and i would have said "yeah, i'm fine. he's just a jerk. everybody else thinks so too." but you never know until you ask. if that same situation happened and my response had been to burst into tears and say that i felt like somebody was really going to hurt me, then that's a different story.

i wonder what other people think about this. or other stories/experiences with bullying in school. i used to think a lot about it when i was a kid (there was nothing else i could do about it) and it'd be interesting to hear what everyone has to say.

as a general rule, though, bullies suck :wink:


Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:54 pm
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I think this topic is very touchy. Not only do I think it is important to know the students and their perceptions of bullying, but I think a lot of consideration should lie in the age groups as well. I am going to be a middle school teacher, and I know that young adolescents view bullying and teacher help more negatively than a younger student would. I also believe that in order to really solve bullying problems, a teacher must eliminate the problem. I really don't think there is much to be done once the bullying starts, you have to intercept the problems. I have had a lot of discussions in my education classes about creating a safe environment for students in the classroom. This is a deep and long topic, but I think it all begins with the teacher's attitudes and perceptions. If students learn early in the school year how they are expected to behave, and that behavior is strictly monitored and enforced, I think a lot of problems can be eliminated - not just bullying, but other classroom disruptions as well.


Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:56 am
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I don't think that there is any way that, as teachers, we can not do anything when we know a student is being bullied. As Doug was saying, i do believe that being helped by a teacher could be viewed as a shameful thing but a necessary one. As teachers, it is our responsibility to ensure that every student is safe and maintains the same education as the next. You may not have to blatantly step in to help the student but you must do everything in your power to ensure the emotional and physical safety of each student.

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Dustin Hull


Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:55 am
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There has to be a balance between letting a child stand up for themselves and not letting the bullying go too far. I know in my family, my aunt has always been very overprotective of my cousin. She's about to go into high school and I'm not confident that she has the social skills because she relies on her parents to stand up for her. How does this relate to the classroom?
Talk to the students at the beginning of the school year about bullying. Discuss the hurt it causes. Explain that it won't be tolerated in your classroom. I know a lot of stuff will go unnoticed because it's not done out in the open, but these are some of the moments that build character. This is a very hard subject and I know that I would have a hard time just doing nothing.

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Katie David


Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:29 pm
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This is a very tough situation. If a teacher helps a child that is getting bullied more often then not it will make matters worse. When a bully picks out a child to bully most of the time it is a child that will not stand up for themselves. Middle school is definitly the worst age for it. There was a kid that played on my football team in middle school that ran to the teacher and snitched on a kid that was bullying him and some of his friends. When we went to practice that day before the coaches got down to the field the bully beat the snot out of that kid for going to the teacher. All the other children just stood in a circle and watched because they knew if they did anything they would be next. I think a teacher must consult with the student getting bullied before they cause them worse problems. Even though the child got ISS for bullying, the student was too afraid to say anything about getting beat up because he was afraid of that happening again. A teacher can be as descrete as possible but there is a very high risk in making matters worse.

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Adam Moore


Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:14 am
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Well first off as a preventative measure the teacher needs to create a classroom community where the kids respect one another and know that it is not ok to bully. If one child is bullied and the rest know it's not ok, then a form of peer presure could be used in a positive way, then if it is with younger children I find that when children have to write an apology for what they did and why it was wrong it really makes them think about what they did.

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Susanne M Olson


Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:34 am
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I agree with Susanne, I think the classroom should squash the bullying attitude from the begining. Schools are supposed to be a safe environment, where students can learn without fear. Unforutnately, that is often not the case, and I think teachers must be aware of the issues students are dealing with, and present them with oppertunities to resolve them. Something like peer counseling or group discussions about how to handle a bully could be effective ways for students tocome together and figure out how to handle bullies in their own lives.

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-Allison Sawicki


Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:40 pm
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It would be ideal for the students to solve it themselves. It may be difficult for younger students to solve these problems because they have not developed the skills required to solve them. If the students cannot resolve the problem then I would step in and talk to the student being bullied and see how they felt about it. Once i have there confidence I may be able to offer com advice on how to deal with the bully. If that fails then I would have to talk to the bully, or depending on the age ofthe student, their parents.


Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:43 pm
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