Bullying and Friendship

By Anne Smith, School Counselor at Grant

Bullying is when someone repeatedly says or does hurtful things on purpose and the person has a hard time defending themselves.  Bullying can be physical – when the body is hurt, emotional – when feelings are hurt, or relational – when friendships are damaged eg. gossip and rumors.  Bullying can also be leaving people out.  Bullying hurts the person’s self-esteem.  It can be dangerous and makes kids not feel safe or avoid coming to school.

Grant is a bully-free school.  That means we expect:

  • No bullying
  • Helping students who are being bullied
  • Including students who are left out
  • Reporting or telling adults about bullying

In weekly character education classes, we have been teaching students what bullyign is, what we expect, and some strategies to solve bullying.  We encourage proactive social skills of: asserting (standing up for) oneself, empathizing (understanding how others feel in their situation), reporting any dangerous or harmful behaviors, and avoiding bullies.  If it isn’t serious, students learn they can ignore it or use humor to keep their power.  Hopefully, students always know they can talk to an adult about anything they can’t solve on their own.

At Grant, we teach and practice how to be good friends.  Friendly behaviors include: attentive listening, gestures like smiling and waving, a relaxed body posture, greetings and invitations, calm tones of voice as well as compliments.  We have focused on understanding what others think and feel instead of only thinking of oneself; it can be hard by people appreciate your trying.