Archive for the ‘Types of Bullying’ Category

[first draft, needs work]

In the middle of the hall stands Big Bruce Halliday.
Looking very handsome as he swaggers to and fro.
Teachers all admire his charming personality.
They don’t see he’s putting on a show.

But it’s after school he wields his cool authority.
Intimidating, threatening until he gets his way.
That’s how Bruce maintains superiority.
Not a sole would dare to disobey.

Now meet Fran Wright, she’s as mean as she is cunning.
Just be careful not to anger her or make her jealous.
Next thing you will notice, she’ll be gossiping and shunning.
A schemer, she is cruel and overzealous.

Somehow grown-ups don’t notice her manipulate.
They don’t hear her insults or her taunts.
One small thing I would really like to stipulate:
This is precisely what she wants.

And then there’s Crystal Bergman. She is cool and so collected.
One wouldn’t think she knew what feelings were.
Oftentimes her actions go completely undetected.
But hurting other girls is kicks for her.

Why is it that grown-ups do not notice she’s malicious?
Why can’t they see the wounds, the scars, the tears?
Crystal’s very careful to be oh, so surreptitious.
The girl is so much more than she appears.

Take a look at that. There’s Old Bruce Senior.
Did you see him raise his fist and start to shout?
“No kid of mine cries! What’s this behavior?
You want a bruise to really cry about?”

Around the corner storms mean Mrs. Wright.
She’s yelling at her daughter. Fran is sucking on her thumb.
“Can’t you do a single thing right?
How could you be so dumb?”

Young Miss Bergman was once a happy girl.
Who knows what happened to Crystal?
One day her life just started to unfurl.
Eventually it ended with a pistol.

by Andrea Wilson

Topics for Discussion:

  • There are many types of bullies. Some are confident bullies with big egos and violent tendencies. Other are cold and heartless bullies who appear insensitive and vicious. Still other are social bullies who love to taunt and spread rumors and gossip. A bullied bully is himself a target and seeks relief from feelings of powerlessness by lashing out at weaker individuals. A hyperactive bully struggles socially and reacts aggressively to any provocation. How would you describe the three bullies in the poem?
  • A person isn’t born a bully. What factors can contribute to the development of bullying tendencies?
  • What is empathy? How can empathy help?

Classroom Activities:

  • In small groups, research news reports of some of the more tragic incidents of bullying. (For example: Columbine High School, Littleton Colorado, 1999; Reena Virk, Victoria, BC, 1997; Hamed Nastih, Surrey, BC, 2000; Dawn Marie Wesley, Mission, BC, 2000; Emmet Fralick, Halifax, NS, 2002)
  • As a class, discuss how bullying can result in retaliatory homicide and suicide. What could be done to avoid such tragic outcomes? Brainstorm a mission statement for you class to help address this issue.

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Fist punch.
Foot crunch.
Hand hit.
Mouth spit.
Eye swells.
Can’t see.
Let me be.

Rips my homework.
Steals my money.
Grabs my lunch.
Thinks it’s funny.

I won’t tell, I swear I won’t.
Please don’t do that. I said “Don’t!”

Sticks and stones may break my bones …
… but names can really hurt.

Through the doors.
Up the stairs.
Face is bloody.
No one cares.

In the washroom.
Clean up the mess.
I’ll be safe
Until … recess.

by Andrea Wilson

Topics for discussion:

  • Is the bully in the poem a boy or a girl? Which type of bullying do boys engage in more frequently? And girls?
  • Everyone is familiar with the chant “Sticks and stones”. Do you agree that names can never hurt? What damage can name-calling do?
  • Bullies take advantage of an imbalance of power between themselves and the victim. Discuss why a bully hits someone and what effect it has on him/her.

Classroom Activities:

  • Brainstorm situations where an imbalance of power can lead to abuse. Put on skits to demonstrate those situations.
    Try using onomatopoeia to describe a scenario involving physical bullying.
  • Pretend you come upon the child in the washroom at the end of the poem. What advice and/or assistance could you offer?
  • Draw an abstract picture which depicts fear.

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Belinda Bates is a bully
A bossy, belligerent bully.
Though a beauty and bright,
She’s so full of spite,
But adults don’t know she’s a bully

“On please let me help, Miss O’ Neal”
“What a lovely tie, Mister Beal.”
She’s as sweet as canned spinach,
A fake to the finish,
Yet grown-ups are sure she’s for real.

But …

If they’d walk out on the playground
On any given day,
They’d see Miss Bates in action,
And much to their dismay,
They’d see …

A shy girl is shunned and she’s teased,
Her brother is kicked in the knees,
Another called “Fatso”
Her clique?
They all laughed so.
Such pain she inflicts with great ease.

But …

I can see it happen.
And I know it isn’t right.
I can tell a teacher,
And refuse to watch a fight.
I can help the shy girl.
Lift her brother to her feet.
Call Fatso by his real name,
and refuse to join the clique.

I can even be nice to Belinda,
For I’m sure there is something wrong.
I think she is really unhappy.
Let’s see if we can’t get along.

by Andrea Wilson

Topics for discussion:

  • Why are adults often not aware of a bully’s behavior and how does a bully manage to pass undetected?

  • Describe different types of bullying: physical, verbal, relational or social. How do they manifest themselves?

  • What are cliques? When do cliques become a problem?

  • What roles can an onlooker play?

  • When should you intervene and how?

  • What might be the underlying causes of bullying behavior

  • What is empathy?

Classroom activities:

  • Using the first stanza as an example, practice using alliteration to write a stanza about bullying.

  • Using the phrase “She’s as sweet as canned spinach” as an example, write examples of similes to describe bullies.

  • Explore empathy by finding possible explanations (not justifications) for Belinda’s behavior.

  • Try methods of intervening by role-playing.

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