Preventing Bullying and Cyberbullying
This paper will shed light on the issues of bullying and cyber-bullying. By revealing both the similarities and differences of bullying, signs of bullying that one should be aware of and ways to handle bullying, I will devise a complete lesson to inform a group of fifth grade students who attend Anderson Elementary School about the harsh reality of bullying and cyber-bullying. I will also provide the objectives, measurement methods, materials needed and the cost and funding for this lesson. Fifth grade students were selected because they have had a(n) cyber-bullying incident and they are about to enter Middle School where there is more bullying and more problems. Elizabeth Englander states that “over ninety percent of third graders reported playing interactive games online. Thirty-five percent of subjects reported owning a cellphone; most owned smartphones. This suggests that cyber-education needs to begin well before middle school (pg.1, 2012).” By informing these students about bullying we could allow students to learn from their mistakes and further prevent them from going through it and teaching them how to handle bullying if they are ever faced with it or see it occurring.
What is Bullying and Cyber-bullying?
There are times that I often, find myself trying to imagine life before the invention of cell phones, computers, laptops, and all the modern technology that we use today. Technology is identified as a major part of each one of our lives. Whether it is going to the hospital to have surgery, just picking up the cell phone to make a call or send a text message, to get on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, LinkedIn or Tumblr or to surf the World Wide Web better known as the internet. Technology is everywhere and with the good of technology comes the bad. While technology is used for good, it is also used for bad things as well. More often than not, we see children as young as toddlers who know how to operate cell phones and other devices and gadgets. This is no doubt the age of technology. Children who are growing up now have really been impacted by technology. As we know technology can be used for a lot of things including but not limited to cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying is fairly like its precursor which is bullying. “Bullying has been engraved in American society since the country’s founding. Bred from a capitalistic economy and competitive social hierarchy, bullying has remained a relevant issue through the years. Technological bullying, known today as cyber-bullying has allowed the problem to expand, become more elusive and even harder to define (Donegan, pg.33, 2012).”
Before technology there was bullying, bullying is an act of aggression that involves threatening, teasing or frightening someone who is typically smaller than the aggressor. Cyber-bullying is using a form of technology such as cell phones, computers, laptops, tablets, game systems and various other devices to threaten or intimidate someone. Usually these acts of cyber-bullying take place through social media sites, which there are over a dozen of them, texting, chat rooms, e-mail, etc. “Overall, there is something tempting to humans about bullying online, something to convenient and inhumane. They can never be caught, and they can never be blamed. Since they are doing it behind a screen, they can also never truly see the victim’s pain (Maccini, pg.12 2013).” However, Bullying takes place in reality. Basically, bullying is limited to when it can occur whereas cyber-bullying has no restrictions to when it occurs. In elementary aged students’ incidents of bullying is thought to most likely take place in our schools, compared to cyber-bullying that can happen with just the click of a button. But, often it happens online as well. Although bullying and cyber-bullying are different, it also very evident that there are some similarities. There is no doubt that our school systems have been heavily impacted by bullying and cyber-bullying. Both bullying and cyber-bullying are a form of power for the aggressor. It usually involves either one or more persons taunting or threatening a person smaller and timid.
Bullying has become an epidemic that has swept our nation and impacted our lives; whether we have experienced bullying first hand, heard the experiences of someone else who has been bullied, or even heard about it from someone who has bullied before. A Lesson on Bullying and Cyber-bullying The objective of this lesson is to promote anti-bullying at Anderson Elementary School as well as promote anti-bullying in the Anderson community. Students will be responsible for learning different skits about bullying. These skits will involve the entire fifth grade body and staff at Anderson Elementary School. These skits will include scenarios where bullying occurs and the way to prevent bullying in different scenarios. Students will learn the skits and put on an Anti-bullying program for the entire school and community. The Anti-bullying program that the fifth-grade students will put on will be one hour and thirty minutes. The program will include the skits and our guest speaker McGruff the Crime Dog who will talk to the students about bullying as well as cyber-bullying. McGruff will talk to the students, parents and teachers about signs of bullying, how to prevent bullying and how to best deal with bullying and cyber-bullying. There will be about five skits in which two scenarios will be presented for each skit that the fifth-grade students will perform. One example of these skits would include a group of five to six students handling an incident that involves bullying in the scenario with the problem. One student will play the teacher, one student will be the bully(aggressor) one student will be the one getting bullied(victim) and extras who try to convince the student being bullied to inform an adult so that they can help.
The student who is being bullied opts not to tell an adult and keeps getting bullied until the student is no longer interacting with peers. It is not until the change in the student’s behavior that the teacher realizes what is going on and tries to fix the situation, but it is too late. A fixed scenario will also be presented where the student corrects his actions by informing an adult right away and the issue is resolved before the student is heavily affected by bullying. There will be two measurement methods used to determine student learning and lesson effectiveness. The first measurement is of course the success of the program, which will include the effectiveness and flow of the overall program and how well students perform, the number of community members to show up to the program. Getting the community (parents) out is important because we want to promote anti-bullying in the community as well. Also, this means that students have been practicing skits at home as well as in the classroom, so parents are becoming more aware of bullying as well. We also want to involve parents so that they too know signs of bullying, ways to prevent bullying and how to deal with bullying when it occurs. The second measurement used will be to test student learning through assessment. A quiz will be given to the fifth-grade students that will be graded. All students who score ninety or above on the quiz will receive a Stop Bullying Now pin as well as a certificate that certifies their completion of the Anti-bullying program.
This lesson includes various lesson types such as interactive because all students are engaging in activity with other students as well as teachers. It also includes peer learning since these fifth-grade students are putting on a program for all of the students at Anderson Elementary School. Lecture is also included when McGruff the Crime Dog speaks with students about bullying. Also, while students are learning and practicing their scenarios, lectures will be given on each of the scenarios they are doing and why they are correcting the scenarios. For this program there will be various props used which can all be found inside of the school. Of course, McGruff the Crime Dog will be needed. McGruff can be booked through our local police department in Atlanta, Georgia. There will also be materials needed for students who receive an anti-bullying pin and certificate. All pins will be funded from a good friend of mines who owns a small business and agrees to sponsor the pins. Also, certificates can be made using supplies and resources that are already in the school. The total cost of this lesson as well as program should be free. The funding provided to the school should be no more than two hundred dollars for the cost of the pins.
In conclusion, by spreading information about bullying, I believe that we can stop bullying that is happening now, prevent bullying before it happens and/or decrease bullying. When information about bullying is spread then it could possibly teach the aggressor other ways to channel their problems or anger as well as teaching the one who is being bullied ways to deal with bullying. By spreading information about bullying to adults including parents and teachers, they could become aware of signs of bullying. Also, if adults know more about the harsh reality of bullying and cyber-bullying, they are more likely to handle the situation accordingly as opposed to not doing anything to help the students/children or overlooking something that seems minor when in actuality it could ultimately be saving a life. Since there is no age limit on bullying, all students should be educated about bullying through school programs, class lessons or both as I have done. “Students were accustomed to blackboards, pencils and books.
Students lives and learning styles have changed. Students learn by using a variety of information and interacting with others, applying what they have learned. Learning is ever evolving, and it is important that schools use existing knowledge and skills of the students to remain relevant (Bynum, 2011).” If students are not being informed about bullying and how to cope with it then how can we expect students to know how to handle it if ever challenged with bullying. If we want to put an abrupt stop to bullying and cyber-bullying, we have to spread the word. As educators we are responsible for the safety of our students. Bullying and cyber-bullying are threatening not only the safety of our students but the lives of our students as well. We must prevent bullying and cyber-bullying through educating our students.