Although going back to school can be an exciting time, for many students the last days of summer are a countdown to a lonely time full of teasing and bullying. Unfortunately, teasing, taunting and bullying are still fairly common school yard activities that inflict serious emotional harm to children. If you know a student that is dreading going back to school, look beyond the first day of school activities and find out if something sinister is lurking in the schoolyard.
Children who have been the targets or verbal insults, or who have been rejected by their peers may display anger or “act out”. If a student is displaying this type of behavior in anticipation of going back to school, they could just be preparing for another sad and lonely school year filled with traumatic bullying related events. As teachers, one way to speak out against bullying is to incorporate anti-bullying messages in the first day of school activities.
Other first day of school activities could include a talk about how seriously bullying is treated in your school, or making a point of drawing submissive or lonely students into the day’s activities. When it’s time to go back to school, take a stand and make it a new school year in which bullying is no longer tolerated. If you can make this year a bully-free year for most students, it will make returning back to school even easier next year.