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Classroom Material

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The Dynamics of Bullying Behavior


Instructional/Performance Objectives:

  • Students will be able to further understanding the dynamics of bullying behaviors.
  • Students will explore how bullying behaviors and responses affect us.

Motivational Activity:

  • Ask students to write about and/or share a response to this question
    • “What would or do you do if you’re being picked on, teased, or bullied?”
  • Discuss the students’ responses.

Lesson Procedure:

  • Inform the students that it is safe to report bullying behaviors.
  • Discuss bullying behaviors as harassment.
  • Give students the right to report bullying behaviors with anonymity for the perceived victim of the bullying behavior. (They do not want to be perceived as a tattler.)
  • Explore different types of bullying behaviors:
  1. Bullying Behavior that is Physical - intent to inflict physical harm or serious physical pain or damage.
  2. Bullying Behavior that is Verbal- on-going verbal or written harassment, or insulting, mean name-calling, cruel teasing with intent to humiliate or dehumanize the perceived victim of this behavior, etc.
  3. Relational Bullying Behavior- Exclusion from groups, isolation, and serious social setting manipulation with intentional or resulting victimization.

Additional Related Activity:

  • Ask students how they feel when they see others being picked on?
  • Discuss and critically examine the students’ responses.
  • Explore with and explain to the students that they have several choices when they feel they are seeing someone who is victimized by bullying behaviors.  Choices include:

Say or do something to help the target.

Leave and get help, seek out a responsible adult.

Do not support bullying behavior by showing approval of these actions.

Talk to the perceived victim and offer them support, comfort, active listening, etc.  Let them know you do not support or like what was or is being done to them.  Let the perceived victim know that they are not alone, or shouldn’t have to feel alone, let them simply know you care.


It is important for communities to respond to bullying behaviors in positive, productive ways.

  • Make it safe to report bullying behaviors.
  • Trust is essential, without trust perceived victims will be reluctant to report bullying behaviors and they will probably continue and may get worse.

"In the end it is not the words of our enemies we will remember, but the silence of our friends." –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Remember as a bystander, you are involved in the bullying behavior. (It is your business.)  Doing nothing about it is a choice, and it is one that helps the bully behavior continue.  Therefore there are no truly innocent bystanders when it comes to bullying behaviors.

  • Support the perceived victims of bullying behavior by not isolating them from the group or community.  Just acknowledge them by asking, “are you alright, is there anything I can do?”
  • Support the perceived victims of bullying behaviors, talk to them about their concerns, actively listen, if necessary get help, do the right thing.

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