AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Elementary Bullying Poster

Responses shared below came from elementary students ranging in ages six to ten. What is revealing in their candid responses is the central role adults cast. To a young child witnessing an incident between an older, bigger student and a physically smaller child, it probably does look “scary.”

Do you know what bullying looks like?

  • scary
  • Like when someone pushes you around because they are bigger than you are
  • When a bunch kids are making fun of another kid because of what she is wearing or the way they talk
  • When someone calls another kid names
  • When they throw the ball extra hard to hurt you and other kids laugh
  • A kid will stick his leg out so trip so you trip and fall and get embarrassed
  • Somebody writes your name on a piece paper with ugly pictures and shows it to everyone so they can laugh at you
  • Playing really rough during recess or soccer practice when the coach is not around

Do you know what to do if you see a classmate being bullied?

  • Tell my teacher
  • Tell the bus driver
  • Tell my mom or dad
  • Ask for help
  • Tell the bully to stop and it’s not nice to hurt someone’s feelings or say mean things
  • Walk away and go get help
  • Help them

Do you know what to do if you are being bullied?

  • Tell my teacher right away
  • Go to the principal’s office
  • Write a note to my teacher
  • Tell my friends
  • Ask for help
  • Talk to my dad or mom
  • Go get my big brother or sister

What can school staff do?

Adults in schools can make a difference. They can help students address bullying behavior by:

  • Helping students know what bullying behavior looks like;
  • Hearing both sides of the story in private;
  • Checking in on the student after an incident and talking to parents and caregivers;
  • Providing opportunities to report incidents of bullying that are safe, fair, and anonymous if necessary;
  • Sharing ways in which a student can get help;
  • Helping them share with other adults – parents, counselors, coaches, paraprofessionals; and
  • Allowing them to practice how they would respond if approached by a bully or witness bullying behavior.