Bullying happens –
Even with social distancing during unstructured times at school, bullying can occur 24/7 online. With so much of life happening virtually these days, the opportunities for cyberbullying only increases.
Since our inception, Social Bridges has included direct education about bullying in both our skill building groups and school-based curriculum. We join with Stopbullying.org (https://www.stompoutbullying.org/national-bullying-prevention-awareness-month) to continue to educate and encourage young people to step up and support one another through the suggestions below.
The Week of October 5th
Make friends with someone you don’t know at school
If you’ve ever been… isolated from others at school or new at school and it took time to make friends, you know what it feels like to be left out. Or, even if you were never isolated, imagine how it would feel…
Make friends with someone at school who you don’t know. You probably wish someone had done that for you.
Be a leader. Take action and don’t let anyone at school be in isolation.
At Social Bridges, we focus on concrete strategies to connect and form friendships. These include: learning what kids my age are talking about, giving green light social cues to let others know I want to interact and levels of sharing – how much information to safely share as relationships develop from acquaintances to friends.
Challenge Others To Be Kind
Make kindness go viral with an act of kindness.Challenge friends and classmates to pay it forward with their acts of kindness. Make a video of everyone doing acts of kindness and submit it. We’ll add it to our website.
At Social Bridges, we focus on being a helpful person/classmate/family member/community member. Concrete tools include being a good listen, being empathetic and giving empathetic responses.
October 11th is National Coming Out Day
Celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, LGBTQ+ questioning or as an ally.
Updated for 2020, Social Bridges focuses on bridging and celebrating differences. This includes perspective taking, acknowledging and appreciating both similarities and differences in race, culture, and beliefs and encourages respectful communication and activism for change.
The Week of October 12th
STAND UP for Others Week
When you see someone being bullied, be brave and STAND UP for them. Bullies have been known to back off when others stand up for victims.
If you don’t feel safe get the help of an adult immediately. Be part of the solution — not the problem!
It’s a time to see everyone’s differences and celebrate their similarities: Whether students are LGBT, African American, Asian, Muslim, AAPI,of Tribal descent or disabled …make friends.
Students can participate by
- Creating positive messages on post-its and handing them out to students at school
- Hold a “kindness” dance at school
- Creating anti-bullying videos and sharing them on the STOMP Out Bullying site
- Sharing inspirational stories on the STOMP Out Bullying site
- Create a kindness dance flash mob at school or in your community. Make a video of it and send it to us. We’ll share it on our web site.
At Social Bridges, we differentiate between friendly teasing, hurtful teasing and bullying. We teach and practice how to safely be an Upstander to support those who are targets of bullying. Being an upstander goes beyond bullying to support others being teased or marginalized.
A wonderful book for all ages is One by Kathryn Otoshi Read-Aloud Available Here
The Week of October 19th
Week of Inclusion
- Don’t let anyone at school eat alone in the cafeteria or on a school field trip. Make it the week of #NOONEEATSALONE
- Include other students in school activities
- Include other students in after school activities
- Invite someone you don’t now that well to sit next to you on the bus. Learn about each other.
- At one point or another each of us has felt insecure, or stressed out, or alone. It is important to remind our friends and classmates that we are all in it together. We are there to listen and support each other. Use the hashtag #HereForYou on social media. Let your classmates know that they have your support and a person to reach out to if they ever need to talk.
Social Bridges encourages perspective taking and raising awareness of peers who may be going through difficult times personally or may feel excluded due to differing abilities.
The Week of October 26th
Start the Week With Conversations Amongst Your Peers
- Meet with fellow students and discuss how you can Change The Culture at your school.
- Use our Student Participation Toolkit to begin conversations on how your school can be judgement and bully free.
- Hold a discussion in your classroom where you allow students to openly speak and discuss their experiences with bullying and cyberbullying, and how these experiences have affected them and how they dealt with these moments.
At Social Bridges, we learn how to be an effective leader and initiate conversation on difficult, yet important topics.
We hope that teachers and administrators will accept the challenge for continued awareness and action, empowering our youth to stop bullying