Is being bullied a rite of passage for kids? Some people believe that being bullied is part of growing up. “It’s just the way things have always been.” At our school we don’t think so. We want to stand up to bullying and learn the important ways that bystanders can help change the effects of bullying.
This week we read “Social climbing fuels teen bullying” an article from the Vancouver Sun (Feb. 8/11) which was written by Shannon Proudfoot. Our task was to read this text and think of ourselves as not only readers but also as critical thinkers.
We questioned the article.
- Would this study have looked the same with teenage kids in Canada?
- Also, would the findings have been the same if the students interviewed had been our age (10-12 which is grades 5 to 7 instead of grades 8 to 10)?
- If 67% of kids do not use aggression against their classmates, is it true that 33% of kids use some types of aggression to gain higher status?
- Is it possible to get to the “top” without being mean?
- Why do bullies think their hard life is an excuse to be a bully?
- Why do people stand by and watch the bullying?
- Did this study include some interview questions for the students about cyber-bullying?
We also monitored our comprehension by checking in to see where we made connections to the text.
We thought about how Facebook can sometimes be a place where hurtful comments are made. Rumours can be spread about people and they get around to people very fast when they are online. Our connection was that “indirect aggression” which can be something like spreading rumours is something that makes you feel sad, alone and sometimes helpless. We realized that it quite often takes an adult to help us solve some bullying problems.
We thought about and discussed the fact that this article is focused on the bullying that takes place so someone can increase his or her status at school. We connected to the part of the article that stated “previous research has focused on bullying as a sign of poor social skills, psychological problems or trouble at home.” Our connection was that adults sometimes state to us that kids who bully probably have something going on in their lives that they are taking out on others.
The part of the article that we wondered about the most was the discussion about bystanders. The kids who are not aggressive give the aggressive kids their power when they stand by and do not disapprove of the agression. This is the place where we can make a difference in schools!
What are your ideas about how students can take a stand instead of being a bystander?