Dear Parents and Guardians,
The second graders have taken the DARE! They have been dared to be upstanders. This week our second grade students have learned how to be an upstander in their classroom guidance lesson. The purpose of this lesson is to teach, model, and practice standing up for others. This lesson works to create a positive and supportive relationships with other students. Students were challenged to demonstrate empathy and being problem solvers.
Here at St. Francis we are creating kinder, more accepting, and more inclusive classroom where fewer students experience bullying, more people speak out, and no one feels alone. The goal for this activity is to create a sense of belonging in the school environment.
Students learned the difference between a bystander and an upstander. A bystander is someone who just watches and does nothing when they see someone being mean to someone else. An upstander is someone who stands up for the person being hurt. See what ideas your children have on how to stop bullying.
In this book, Jayla feels threatened by her classmate Sam who has bullied her in the past for her nerdy love of astronomy and stars. Sam is now bullying Jayla’s friend Luisa and she recruits Jayla to participate. Jalya reluctantly joins in but soon realizes it is wrong. With the help of caring adults and friends Jayla comes to sympathize with Luisa and finds the courage to dare to stand up to Sam and put an end to the bullying.
What is bullying? At first glance, many people might think this behavior is easy to define. Their first image of bullying might be of a physically intimidating boy beating up a smaller classmate. While that would still be considered bullying today, parents need to know that bullying behavior can be much more complex and varied than the stereotype. For example, harmful bullying can also occur quietly and covertly, or through gossip or the Internet, and can cause significant emotional damage.
Bullying, a behavior that hurts, harms, or humiliates someone physically or emotionally, is a serious issue that impacts thousands of students every day. As damaging as bullying may be, there is hope! With education and awareness, bullying can be prevented at school, in neighborhoods, and online.
The definition of bullying will vary by school and state. While there are significant differences between definitions, most include the following traits:
- Behavior that hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally.
- An inability for the target to stop the behavior and defend themselves.
- An imbalance of power that occurs when the student doing the bullying has more physical, emotional, or social power than the target.
- Repetitive behavior; however, bullying can occur in a single incident if that incident is either very severe or arises from a pattern of behavior.
The types of Bullying: The behavior can be overt and direct, with physical behaviors, such as fighting, hitting or name calling, or it can be covert, with emotional-social interactions, such as gossiping or leaving someone out on purpose. Bullying can happen in-person, online or through smart phones and texts.
Help your child identify bullying. If your child tells you about a situation and you aren’t sure if it’s bullying, use this checklist:
- Does your child feel hurt, either emotionally or physically, by the other child’s behavior?
- Has your child been the target of the negative behavior more than once?
- Does your child want the behavior to stop?
- Is your child unable to make the behavior stop on their own?
If the response to one or more of these questions is “yes,” the more likely it is that the behavior would be considered bullying.
Miss Lauren Schneider, M.Ed.
Professional School Counselor
St. Francis de Sales