Tag Archives: Violence and Abuse

How to use respect activities to change your school climate

How can we truly change the climate in our school? Can we actually re-form opinions that students and staff possess? Is there a way we can change a negative or mean-spirited school climate into one where cooperation, kindness and consideration abound? Can respect activities actually make a positive difference?

St. Sofia offers Respect Activities

Many Respect Activities at St. Sofia School

The short answer is yes; these kinds of changes can be made. In fact there are schools in our own jurisdictions that prove this fact. Attempting to define the actual system or step by step list of procedures to achieve these goals could be a challenge, but it is safe to say that some basic respect activities can go a long way toward making a difference. Here are some tips to get started.

First of all we must define what we are actually trying to achieve. Many people would agree that we are trying to achieve a climate of respect within the walls of the school. In my opinion respect must start from the top and sift its way down. If the administration, including all the teachers, all support staff and even custodial staff live respect in their day-to-day work at the school, then others will begin to take notice. By others I mean students and even any parents that may be in the school. Many teachers use model respect to their students daily and many teachers use specific respect activities in their classrooms in their day-to-day teaching  and have done it for years.

If your older students in the school show respect to each other, younger students will definitely begin to take notice. As younger kids began to learn from their older role models, they will begin to see respect as the norm. Situations and incidences which do not show respect will begin to be seen as highly unusual and unacceptable. All of these steps, of course, take time to initiate. In some schools it may take months, others may take years, while still others could possibly take decades in order to make these kinds of profound changes.

There are a number of tools which can help speed up this change so the transition can begin to take place sooner. The following activities will help to grow respect and to compound the effects:

1/ Form a student group which focuses completely on posters, announcement reminders, and other methods of awareness to help remind students and staff about the goal of achieving respect.

2/ Run special spirit days throughout the year which will help you get people on board in a fun way. Examples are: pink shirt stand up for respect day, be kind to someone day, pass on a smile day or respect activities workshop day.

3/ Special assemblies can also be a great way to help lift the spirits of the student body, and get everyone working in the same direction.

The above ideas for respect activities are only starters, but once you begin, I believe you will be moving toward a most worthwhile destination — achieving a climate of true respect in your school.

Bruce Langford presents anti-bullying and respect workshops internationally. www.StandUpForRespect.com 

 

Are You Immune to Bullying? Learn about Someone who Is.

I just talked to a 10-year-old boy who told me he is immune to mean comments, teasing and also bullying.
I asked him to explain.

He told me that he just doesn’t let the comment or teasing register in his brain. He just ignores it. He said it is just a natural thing and it isn’t even hard to do.
I asked him, “how long have you had this ability?”
Him: “About one and a half or two years.”
Me: Do you realize that this might mean that you will never be bullied because you will never think of meanness as bullying?
Him: “Yes, I realize that. I think that’s a really good thing.”
Me: “How does this make you feel now that you know that you have this ability?”
Him: “I think it is kind of a super-hero-like power really.”
Me: Yes, I can see that it might be.
Him: Just the other day some kids were saying some mean stuff to me and I didn’t even care.
Me: Do you think they were trying to bully you?
Him: Maybe, but I’m not sure. They just stopped because I didn’t give them a reaction.
Me: Do you think there are very many other people with this power you are describing?
Him: I don’t know anyone else.
Me: Do you think other people could develop this power, or is it only reserved for certain people?
Him: I think there are a few people that could do it, but I think most people can’t.
Me: What do you think a bully would do if they knew you had this super-power?
Him: Leave me alone.
Me: Do you think you have any other super powers?
Him: (Thoughtfully) I’m not sure, maybe.

I have never talked to someone who described themselves as being immune to mean remarks and bullying before. I think this is quite interesting. If you have any comments, I would be pleased if you would share them in the comment box. Thanks.

Bruce Langford, Anti-bullying advocate and school presenter  www.standupnow.ca 
905-233-2102

Iron Joan Police Foundations Students Stand Up Against Bullying

The students of Cardinal Newman Catholic School taught us today about bullying prevention.

The bullying prevention advice we learned at Cardinal Newman is:
Be yourself, let your energy spill out. Celebrate life, be kind and fill your life with respect.

You see, the students at Cardinal Newman live the advice you read above. They are filled with energy, they celebrate day-to-day life and they understand the concept of respect.
We will remember the Cardinal Newman spirit and energy we experienced today for a very long time.
It is our hope that the students of Cardinal Newman will remember the bullying prevention strategies we taught today for as long as we remember their energy.
Daytime presentations were ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ and ‘Stand Up For Respect’.  The evening parent student bullying prevention presentation was called ‘Stand Up – Keep Your Kids’. Seventy one families attended and enjoyed outstanding pre-show entertainment by the Cardinal Newman Iron Joan group mentored by students from the Sheridan College Police Foundations program. We were dazzled by the confidence shown by the Iron Joan team.  The Sheridan College Police Foundations students who mentored the children at Cardinal Newman were extremely proud of the confidence and skill exhibited by their students.
Cardinal Newman student council also did an amazing anti-bullying presentation. This anti-bullying parent/student program presented by Bruce Langford was made possible by the Ontario Government’s Parent Reaching Out Grant (PRO) available to school parent groups across Ontario.

Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate who offers anti-bullying workshops in Toronto, Ontario. www.brucelangford.ca Telephone: 905-233-2102

Children come first at Quinte Mohawk School in Belleville Ontario

Bullying prevention and child safety is of top importance at Quinte Mohawk School in Belleville Ontario. Principal, Kathleen Vanderville makes sure children are the first priority at her school and that was obvious during our visit yesterday. Quinte Mohawk is brimming with beautiful murals, paintings, artwork and displays to proudly celebrate their culture.
Just look at this awesome painted door with the following script:

Children are…

Amazing – acknowledge them.
Believable – trust them.
Childlike – allow them.
Divine – honour them.
Energetic – nourish them.
Fallible – embrace them.
Gifts – treasure them.
Here Now – be with them.
Innocent – delight with them.
Joyful – appreciate them.
Kindhearted – learn from them.
Lovable – cherish them.
Magical – fly with them.
Noble – esteem them.
Open minded – respect them.
Precious – value them.
Questioners – encourage them.
Resourceful – support them.
Spontaneous – enjoy them.
Talented – believe in them.
Unique – affirm them.
Vulnerable – protect them
Whole – recognize them.
Xtraspecial – celebrate them.
Yearning – notice them.
Zany – laugh with them.

We thank Quinte Mohawk
School for the wonderful
hospitality and warm welcome!

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Bruce Langford presented ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ student assemblies at Quinte Mohawk school yesterday. See his website at: http://www.standupagainstbullying.com

Conquer Bullying and Conflict with Self-Forgiveness

To conquer bullying, let’s strive for less conflict in the world.  How to do that … self-forgiveness. (Read on to learn how we can calm the bullying epidemic by learning the concept of self-forgiveness).

stop judging yourself... forgive yourselfWhen you are comfortable with both your strengths and weaknesses, you radiate simple, unaffected humanity. Self acceptance, total self acceptance, means self-forgiveness.
When you forgive yourself and stop judging yourself, then you won’t judge others, and there will be less conflict in the world.

Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate and speaker/presenter.
www.brucelangford.ca   telephone: 905-233-2102

Dr. Kenneth Shore’s Top 6 Bullying Prevention Tips

Stand Up Against BullyingStand Up – Make it Stop; Let’s End It. These are the words of a child describing the challenges of bullying. Why can’t we make bullying stop? Why can’t we just decide to end bulling? The answer is we can. It just takes a concerted effort with everyone moving toward the same goal to end bullying forever. Of course it is not easy. Definitely there are many who say bullying is part of being human and will never end.
The point is though, that no child should have to go to school in fear.  Every person should feel safe in their community and not fear being bullied. Children should not be nervous to go on-line for fear of being bullied.
These thoughts took me to Dr. Kenneth Shore’s book, “The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention”.
Dr. Shore is a psychologist and family counselor and has written this valuable book about bullying prevention. I’ve included his top six bullying prevention tips here.
1. Take it seriously. Shore says bullying often goes unrecognized by educators, or is recognized but isn’t taken seriously. “It’s easy for us as adults to dismiss kids’ concerns, but so often, issues or problems we perceive as small loom large for them.” The common thread in stories of bullied kids who attempt or successfully commit suicide is that schools dismissed complaints about bullying or didn’t treat them with the seriousness they deserved, says Shore.
2. Prevent it. Your local board of education probably has an anti-bullying policy, but words on a piece of paper won’t change things. Instead, a committee of students, parents, and school-site staff should work together to plan and implement a prevention program. Shore says studies show a 50-percent reduction in bullying in schools that adopt comprehensive bullying prevention programs.
3. Don’t treat bullying as exceptional. Shore says one of the mistakes schools make is they treat bullying prevention as a one-time activity. “You don’t solve bullying with one big assembly,” he says. Instead, hold several ongoing activities throughout the year to address the problem. “Make sure the issue is very much alive in kids’ minds.”
4. Meet in each classroom. It’s crucial that teachers make time for special classroom meetings held a minimum of four times a year conveying that bullying is unacceptable, and the school takes it seriously. “Seat kids in a circle and engage them in discussions where they can talk about times they’ve been bullied and discuss what that felt like,” he says. During the meeting, teachers should also talk about things they’ll do if they see bullying happening.
5. Zero tolerance. Parents of kids suspected of bullying need to find out what their children are doing and address it seriously. “Make sure to let him know it’s unacceptable and that you’re going to be monitoring behavior and if it continues, there’s going to be serious consequences. Let your child know you mean business and then try to understand why it is that he’s engaging in these behaviors.”
6. Don’t blame the victim. If your child comes to you and says he’s being bullied, “Don’t dismiss the concerns with a ‘sorry that happened, hope things go better tomorrow,’ response, or suggest it’s your child’s fault,” says Shore. Listen to your child, recognize that he’s a victim, and follow-up with the school in-person. “You want to be a pit-bull taking whatever steps you need to ensure the bullying stops.”

Bruce Langford is a Canadian bullying prevention advocate offering interactive, musical school assemblies on the topic.
http://standupagainstbullying.com

 

 

 

Simcoe County District School Board School Welcomes Anti-Bullying Speaker, Bruce Langford

Simcoe County School in Barrie OntarioWest Bayfield Elementary School in Barrie was our destination today, where we presented ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ and ‘Cyberbullying – Got 2 Go’ assemblies to all students from JK to grade 8. Students were passionate about the topic. They were eager to learn as much as Stand Up at West Bayfield Elementarythey could about the internet and the dangers of cyberspace. They told stories and acted out scenarios. The Simcoe County District School Board has raised awareness that dangers lurk in cyberspace. Students just wanted to learn the details.Honesty is a virtue

We talked about how GPS encoding is embedded in photographs taken on many cell phones and how it can reveal exactly when the photo was taken. One student told us a story about how his facebook account Caring Poster in Barrie Ontariohad been hacked into and the violator set up another facebook account which was an exact duplicate of his own. The student had good news about the outcome. He was actually able to have the offending site removed, because he was able to get into it himself and have it Stand Up Artworkdeleted.

We were impressed when we arrived at the school, because students had posted visual artwork on the topic of ‘Caring’ and ‘Stand Up’ and how we can all stand together to trump bullying. I’ve included some of the photos here along with a short video.

Students, teachers and administrators told us how pleased they were with the three contrasting assemblies.

“Presentations were entertaining, insightful, and age appropriate. They were thoroughly enjoyed by all of our students and they learned a great from them. I would highly recommend Bruce’s presentations for any school.”
Mike Geer, Principal, West Bayfield Elementary School, Barrie Ontario

Bruce Langford, Anti-bullying advocate and international speaker presenter: www.brucelangford.ca

 

How much bullying is in The Hunger Games according to typical teenagers?

The Hunger Games SeriesThe Hunger Games is huge. Almost everyone has something to say about how appropriate the themes are or how much violence is involved. Recently I read a report that there were more than forty-one instances of violence … and that is in the first book alone. I would like to hear from you. How much bullying and violence did you notice as you read the series? Do you feel the story-line is appropriate for teens or pre-teens?
I am including a quick review by a teenager who has read the books:
“The Hunger Games was, in my opinion, a great book. There are many important issues and emotional stress that are dealt with in the book. I believe it is very beneficial to those who read it, however, the age group targeted (11-16 year olds) is generally too young to appreciate the important issues discussed in the book. Things like child cruelty, rebellion, and war go right over the heads of the younger kids who read it. Missed, too, are the important roles of love and inner turmoil. These books would gain greater appreciation if they were targeted to an older, more mature audience.”
Review by Tyson Longfield, Graduate of Lord Dorchester Secondary School, Dorchester Ontario (Thames Valley District School Board)

Stay tuned for more teen reviews of The Hunger Games in the next few days.
Let me know what you think? Please leave a comment.

Bruce Langford is a teacher, speaker and presenter of school bullying prevention programs.  www.standupnow.ca

 

 

 

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a vow to Stand Up Against Bullying

Stand Up Against Bullying ShamrockSt. Patrick’s Day 2012 is upon us so I decided to google Irish Bullying tips.
What I learned was shocking.
25 per cent of Irish students in Irish secondary schools are bullied according to the website bully4u dot ie. One in four or 175,000 youth in Irish high schools are victims of bullying. The website states: “the evolution of modern communication technologies combined with the increasing integration of our multicultural society has led to such new dynamics as cyberbullying and racist bullying in addition to the more traditional forms.”

The site goes on to encourage adult intervention in bullying incidents. It tells us that it is important for adults to let students know that aggressive behaviour is inappropriate. “Whether you are a bystander, parent or schoolteacher, there are steps you can take to ensure that children are kept safe and that their dignity is respected.”

As we celebrate St. Patrick’s day around the world, make a vow to ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ and make a difference by empowering yourself and others to act against bullying behaviour.

Bruce Langford is an international speaker and anti-bullying advocate
www.BruceLangford.ca   www.StandUpAgainstBullying.com

 

 

 

Take a stand , make a change – stop the culture of bullying

Caribbean Island Sunset

Virgin Islands Sunset

Here is a bullying acronym – Ways to turn bullying around:
Beautiful person that has a
Unique personality and can be a
Loyal friend also
Loving & caring so
Youth stand up for your rights and
Individuals take a stand
Never give up on yourself and
Grow your confidence.

Never give up – keep on being strong.
Stand Up Against Bullying!
This acronym was created by students at the United States Virgin Islands Youth Summit 2012 under the leadership of Bruce Langford www.brucelangford.ca

 

All Saints Cathedral School welcomes Canadian anti-bullying advocate Bruce Langford

All Saints Cathedral School U.S. Virgin IslandsAll Saints Cathedral School, located in St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands has a history of excellence dating back over eight decades. Their tradition of setting high standards was obvious during our visit to present bullying prevention assemblies on Tuesday.
All Saints students contributed to the interactive assemblies with thoughtful comments relating to the topic of respect and safe schools. The spiritual and moral values of the students shone through during the visit.
One of the high points was when an obviously dedicated and passionate teacher shared a packet with us she had created with her students called ‘Stop the Violence and Increase the Peace’. Packed with tips, advice, puzzles, articles and ideas about safe schools and preventing bullying, the resource is obviously the outcome of much hard work.

These Five Startling Bullying Facts are taken from the packet:
1/ 15% of all school absenteeism is directly related to fears of being bullied at school
2/ 71% of students report incidence of bullying as a problem at their school
3/ 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month
4/ 90% of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying
5/ 87% of students said shootings are motivated by a desire to “get back at those who have hurt them”

Following our presentations, All Saints principal, Ms. Barry left us with the following comment:
“Your presentations endorsed the same concepts we try to teach here at All Saints Cathedral School including the quality of respect, accepting the consequences of your actions, and acknowledging you are wrong.”
Mrs. Barry, Principal, All Saints Cathedral School, U.S. Virgin Islands

Bruce Langford, speaker & presenter of school programs to encourage respect and end bullying
www.StandUpForRespect.com

Determination, self-confidence and courage can stamp out bullying in U.S. Virgin Islands

Use determination and courage to stamp out bullying. Confidence and willpower can be strong forces when dealing with cruelty and the students here in the U.S. Virgin Islands know how to use their confidence to their advantage. It is important to be strong and stand up against meanness. Students must be willing to lead by example and show others they won’t put up with bullying. It is imperative for teachers to be on-board and to be willing to take a stand against bullying as well. We can all make a difference by using our inner strength and self-confidence to our advantage. Always keep your safety in the forefront of your mind. Your safety should be your first concern.
U.S. Virgin Islands Private School BullyingThe students at Prophecy Academy in the United States Virgin Islands understand that their level of confidence can have a direct impact on the amount of bullying that takes place. We must all be strong and willing to help each other in our universal community. Just watch the video below, and you will see strong minded, confident youth who believe in themselves and are empowered by God to make a difference.
Just remember; Stand Up Against Bullying and take a stand!

School workshops, seminars and keynote talks by Bruce Langford, the Stand Up Against Bullying Guy www.standupagainstbullying.com

Anti-Bullying Pledge created by Fifth & Sixth Graders at Youth Summit US Virgin Islands 2012

I pledge to stop bullying and not be a bystander.
I will lend a helping hand to others to help keep our communities safe.

Pledge against bullying Virgin Islands K-6 Grade

Public Schools Pledge to stop bullying U.S. Virgin Islands K-6

Today we went to the U.S. Virgin Islands Youth Summet at SugarBay Resort and Spa. There were about 300 5th and 6th graders. We are all from the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education Schools.

We watched BennyDL go live on ATFM radio broadcasting directly from SugarBay Resort. He talked to callers, sang songs and talked about bullying prevention. BennyDL is a DJ but his real name is Bruce Langford.

Later we watched videos & talked about the issues related to bullying.
We got into groups with students from other schools. Some of us made up poems and songs about bullying and what to do. Some of us made up role-plays and skits about bullying. Some groups presented to everyone.

We put our ideas together into one pledge we believed in. The pledge we came up with is simple:
I pledge to stop bullying and not be a bystander.
I will lend a helping hand to others to help keep our communities safe.

Here is some of our work:
Bullies are Bad
Bullies are bad,
They make people mad
Bullies are mean
They make my hair green
They never are seen
Since these are a team
Bullies are bad!!!
9 people walking end bullying

Bruce Langford – Programs to deal with bullying www.StandUpAgainstBullying.com

 

 

 

 

Youth Summit 2012 U.S. Virgin Islands Stand Up Against Bullying

U.S. Virgin Islands Vow To Abolish BullyingThe U.S. Virgin Islands Anti-bullying Vow
We solemnly vow to abolish bullying!
We hereby declare we will use our courage and strength to not be a bystander,
but instead be a leader, take action and to take a stand.

Be determined to reach your goals,
Have confidence, strength, belief
Power and stand up for your rights
Self-esteem might cause you to break
But you can always talk it out with a friend
Be strong, have courage and fight for your rights …
Cyber-bullying is not the way to go!!

Bullying
To come against bullying
We need power, determination and confidence
It affects you, it affects me and even society
It lead to destruction and something we can’t run from

Bullying
Determine to stand up for what is right … no matter the fight (bullying, verbal abuse)
We have the courage and the power to choose and decide the right reaction to a negative action.
No matter the content of your insults,We have the confidence to determine the results.
No matter the argument or the fight,
Once it’s against bullying, it’s always right.

What you have read above are samples of the work of seventh to twelfth graders; students in the United States Virgin Islands Department of Education Schools at their Stand Up Against Bullying Youth Summit, 2012 with presenter, Bruce Langford.

We created the island declaration against bullying seen at the top of the page.
Bravo students!!!! You should be proud.

Bruce Langford is currently in the U.S. Virgin Islands doing school presentations on the topic of bullying at the Stand Up Against Bullying Youth Summit 2012.
Visit his website at www.standupagainstbullying.com

Advice: Grow self-confidence and learn how to avoid bullying

confidence pictureBullying can often be prevented by having a well developed level of self-confidence. In fact, studies have led people to believe that confidence is the single most important quality to help you avoid being bullied. However, there is a fine line between self-confidence and arrogance. People who are arrogant and cocky tend to be that way in one area of their lives and when they move into a different environment, they no longer have the ability to appear confident. Doubt yourself for a second, and people will be able to pick up on that momentary self-doubt.
Make up your mind to learn as much as you can about self-confidence and how to achieve it. You will learn that self-confidence comes from many sources such as personal experience, background and your ability to control your thought processes.
Let us know what you have learned about self-confidence. Share a comment and we’ll all learn a little more about this incredibly important topic.

We share tips about confidence in our ‘Stand Up For Respect’ assemblies designed specifically for school audiences. www.StandUpForRespect.com