- Introduce the topic of bullying asking questions such as these:
- What is bullying?
- What are the different ways people bully?
- Why do you think people bully?
- How does bullying affect people who are bullied? People who bully? The whole community?
- Ask each child to trace their hand on a coloured piece of paper and cut it out. They should think of one person for each finger whom they can turn to for support if they are being bullied (e.g. friend, parent, teacher, school administrator, police, counselour, sibling). Ask children to explain the supporters they have named.
- Explain that now you will look at different ways people can respond to situations involving bullying. Demonstrate how it will work:
- The facilitator will read a description of bullying. For each situation three possible responses are given. A fourth response is always open if you think of a different response.
- Each corner of the room is numbered. After you hear the situation and the responses, go to the corner that represents what you think you would do in this situation.
- Read out the bullying situation and give the children time to choose their response and go to the corresponding corner of the room. Once the children have taken a position, ask a few in each position why they chose that response and some of its advantages and disadvantages. Allow those children who chose the open corner to explain how they would respond.
Debriefing and evaluation
- After responding to five or six bullying scenes, debrief the activity by asking question such as these:
- How did you feel about the activity?
- Were some of the scenes difficult to respond to? Which ones and why?
- Can you relate to any of the bullying scenes?
- Do people who are bullied need help and support? Why?
- Where can people who are bullied find help and support?
- What are some of the reasons that people bully others? Are they fair?
- What should you do if you’re being bullied and the person you turn to for help and support doesn’t do anything about it?
- Is some bullying more often accepted by children and adults? Why or why not?
- Who is responsible to help and support children when they are bullied?
- Can adults experience bullying too? Give some examples.
- Who is responsible to help adults when they are bullied?
- What can be done to help people who bully change their behavior?
- What happens if no one stops people who bully? To the bully? To the community?
- Relate the activity to human rights by asking questions such as these:
- Does anyone have the right to bully anyone else? Why or why not?
- Which human rights can be violated when someone is being bullied?
- How does ending bullying improve the human rights environment for everyone?
- At the end of the debriefing, ask the children to look back at their ‘hands of support’ and add any other person or organisation they can think of whom they could turn to for support when being bullied. Display the ‘hands of support’ somewhere in the room so that the children can refer to them in the future.
Suggestions for follow-up
You may like to focus further on violence by running the activity ‘Picturing Ways Out of Violence’, p. 133. The activity ‘Words that Wound’ p. 202 also focuses on verbal bullying and can be run before or after this activity.
Ideas for action
Discuss ways in which the group can create a ’No Bullying’ campaign and ask members of the community to join in the initiative. For example, you might like to organize an exhibition, invite a professional from a child support organization to talk to the children, and/or identify an adult in the school to be the key person people can turn to for help.
Create a theatre performance that shows how children can respond when they’re bullied and perform it for other groups of children.
Find out if there is a local children’s hotline/helpline that children who are being bullied can call. Find out which services children can turn to for support in the local community. Give this information to children during the activity, and if possible invite someone from that agency to speak to the group.
Tips for the facilitator
Introduce a magic stick / talking stick or pretend microphone so that people wanting to speak must wait their turn.
Some form of bullying probably exists among children in the group. Bullying affects all children to varying degrees and can take different forms. Be sensitive to the situations that may already exist in the group and try not to focus on any personal situation.
Write your own bullying scenes that the children in your group can relate to instead of using those that are provided.
Divide children into small groups, give each a bullying situation, and ask them to role play both the bullying and their response. Discuss and debrief eah role play, asking other groups for alternative responses.
HANDOUT: BULLYING SCENES
Your friends start calling you names, sending you nasty text messages and forcing you to give them things. You don’t feel good when these things happen. What should you do?
A group of kids in your class are spreading hurtful rumours about you by sending sms messages around. Many kids now won’t play with you or even speak to you. Even your friends are starting to think they may be true. What should you do?
Your older sister or brother keeps hitting and kicking you when nobody is looking and tells you that if you tell anyone she / he will just hurt you more. What should you do?
Your teacher keeps calling you ’stupid’ every time you get an answer wrong in class and says that there’s no point in even trying to teach you because you can’t learn. Other children have started calling you names too. What should you do?
You notice one of your friends is teasing and making fun of the younger children in the summer camp. Your friend has started taking things from them as well. What should you do?
A groups of older kids from another school like to pick on younger from your primary school. They wait to catch a child walking home or waiting for the bus alone, surround him or her, and take money, food, or toys. They also throw rocks and threaten to do worse. What should you do?
A new boy in your class is refugee. Your friends always say racist things to him, make fun of his English and tell him to go back home. What should you do?
You’ve been teasing one of your friends because he or she is really bad at reading and writing and you noticed that recently he/she has started to sit alone. Once you noticed tears in the child’s eyes. What should you do?
You have an older step-brother who’s very fond of you. He often wants to kiss you, and hug you, but although you like him, it makes you feel uncomfortable. What should you do?
• Coloured Paper