Place students into groups of about 4. Ask each group to talk about bullying and come up with a definition.
Bring whole group back together and have each group report out on their definition. Record salient points on the whiteboard or a flipchart, and mark areas of similarity between definitions.
Distribute or read our definition of bullying: Bullying is when a more powerful person repeatedly intends to hurt someone less powerful, either physically, verbally, emotionally, or through using technology (cyberbullying).
- Have students write out or discuss their reaction to our definition of bullying and how it was the same and different from the ones they came up with.
Facts about Bullying
Share the following facts about bullying with your students:
- Approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying.
- Over 67% of students believe that schools respond poorly to bullying, with a high percentage of students believing that adult help is infrequent and ineffective.
- 71% of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school.
- 86% of LGBT students said that they have experienced harassment in school.
- Victims of bullying are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than students who are not bullied.
What Does Bullying Look Like?
- Post a sign at one end of the room that says Bullying, and one at the other end that says Not Bullying.
- Have students watch these videos of different scenarios.
- Stop after each example so that students will have a chance to walk toward which sign they feel reflects that example. If they are not sure, they can stand in-between the signs.
- Before moving on, discuss how the example either is or isn’t bullying, based on the definition above.