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Fit To Be Taught, Vol. 50

Ending Bullying by Teaching Kids Not to Be Victims


Current efforts to curtail bullying in schools are misguided and ineffective, according to psychologist Izzy Kalman, because bullying is not the issue. Learning to deal with bullying is.

Kalman, a school psychologist and psychotherapist in Staten Island, New York, explains his approach in his book, and on his Web site, Bullies to Buddies.

Creating a world where everyone is nice to each other is unrealistic, Kalman argues. People tease other people because they enjoy watching them get upset. The more upset the "victim" gets, the more fun it is to tease him or her. So rather than encourage children to report bullying and then punish bullies, educators need to teach children not to be victims. The keys to that, according to Kalman, are to learn not to let bullies upset you and to treat bullies like friends so they become friends.

If that sounds unrealistic, Kalman says he has taught children how to do just that through counseling and role-playing. He also has anecdotes from others who have used his approach successfully. Kalman maintains that society often has more to fear from victims than bullies -- in school shootings in the U.S. such as the one at Columbine High School in 1999, the shooters were not bullies -- they were students who had been harassed and felt like victims.

Kalman talked with Education World about his "bullies to buddies" approach.

Read the full article on Education World


Dropping Everything to Walk

In an effort to increase the physical activity level of students and staff members at Glenwood Elementary School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, everyone in the school was asked to walk for 10-15 minutes one day each week as part of the Drop Everything and Walk (D.E.W) program.

Staff members received pedometers and could record their weekly number of steps to enter into a weekly drawing for a prize. Students tallied laps and a school-wide total was posted on a bulletin board. At the end of the 12-week program, students received recognition at a special awards ceremony.

All of the students in the grades k-5 school participated as well as 65 percent of the staff. D.E.W. increased peoples awareness of the importance of physical activity and students were able to discuss the long-term benefits of physical activity.

Read more about this program at: Do the D.E.W..

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

Wellness News
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