Each year the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at my middle school organizes and facilitates anti-bullying events that are open to all students and staff members. Last year more than 200 students participated in one of our lunchtime activities, Band-Aids for Bullying.
To prepare for the event, GSA members print anti-bullying sayings on colorful Band-Aid-shaped posters: “Think B4 U Talk,” “Stand Up,” “Help a Friend” and “Stop Bullying.” They also publicize the activity with posters and schoolwide announcements.
During lunch on the day of the activity, students set up several large posters showing silhouettes of teenagers. To track the number of participants, students are asked to sign in at tables in front of the posters. Then students are given pencils and 2x4-inch labels printed with an image of a bandage along with the statements: “I’m sorry for ____” and “Next time I will ____.”
Students are asked to reflect on a time when they bullied someone or when they were a bystander and explain how they will change their actions in the future. After completing the statements, students stick their labels to the posters. Each student is then given a Band-Aid to wear as a symbol of support and as a reminder that bullying hurts.
After the event, the posters are displayed in our school’s multipurpose room. Students read the anonymous statements during and after the event, empathizing with those who were bullied and with those who admitted to their hurtful actions. Band-Aids for Bullying shines a light on behaviors that hurt others and helps students think about how they can change their behaviors.
Mary Pennington Ruhter
LANDMARK MIDDLE SCHOOL
Moreno Valley, Calif.
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Activities address the following standards using the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.
CCSS L.6.1, L.7.1, L.8.1