Bullying Prevention Tips from Carmen Sandiego’s Fearless Kids

It can be hard to talk with students about discrimination. But when we as teachers talk about bullying prevention, often we’re talking about incidents that happen based on things like race and gender. So in October (and year-round), as we address bullying prevention methods, educators have an opportunity to have an honest dialogue with their students about discrimination.

But like we said, that isn’t always an easy conversation to have! Enter our social-emotional savior, Carmen Sandiego. In this episode of Carmen Sandiego’s Fearless Kids Around the World, we meet Devin Moore. Devin was bullied by students at his school who photoshopped him into racist imagery. Attending school became painful for Devin, because he knew he had to see his bullies every day. But Devin channeled this experience into art by writing poetry. So what can we learn about bullying prevention from Devin? 

Encourage students to express themselves authentically. After being bullied, Devin was able to express himself through writing poetry. Poetry might not be how you reach all your students, but helping students find a creative outlet that speaks to them—and a way to express their most authentic selves—can be life-changing.    

Develop open lines of communication. Devin was able to talk to his parents about the bullying he experienced at school. By being open with your students—and their parents—they will trust you enough to come talk to you about issues they may be experiencing. 

Connect using social media. Teenagers find connections and support through social media. When you as a teacher engage with social media in a constructive way, you can better understand what your students are seeing and posting online. And as a bonus, maybe you’ll be able to find a community of other teachers to support you! For more support on using social media as an educator, read "How and Why to Use Social Media as a School or District Leader" or "3 Ways to Use Social Media in Your K-12 Classroom."

Build a positive classroom culture. Bullying can’t get far if other students know what’s happening and how to shut it down. Building a positive classroom culture will prevent bullying from happening, and stop it quickly if it does happen because other students will know what’s right and what is hurtful.

Be fearless. Devin has traveled the country, met with government officials, and serves on an anti-bullying task force. We can take inspiration from his brave commitment to preventing others from experiencing the same hurts he has endured.

You can use Devin’s story to incorporate social-emotional lessons into your classroom. By watching the video together in class and addressing key questions together as a group, you can begin to explore SEL in a relatable way. 

***

Use the free lesson plan for Grades 4–8, “Express Yourself,” to have students build self-awareness, social-awareness, and relationship skills by creating and sharing a work of self-expression.

Each webisode of Carmen Sandiego’s Fearless Kids Around the World comes paired with free social-emotional learning activities following the CASEL framework to build relevant competencies. Download these SEL activities and lesson plans to inspire your students at carmensandiego.com/fearlesskids.

--

Read more about anti-bullying resources for teachers.

Be the first to read the latest from Shaped.