The idea is based on something that the New York City Police Department tried in order to combat violent crime and it actually works wonders in the classroom. Back when Rudy Giuliani was the mayor of New York, he made it his business to turn the tide against violent crime. However, instead of going after the major offenders, he went after the petty thieves, the vandals, the pickpockets and those who affected quality of life. He theorized that by cutting down on petty crime, he could cut down on violent crime as well. The idea worked brilliantly and New York is now one of the safest large cities in the country.
I recently spoke with teacher who tried a similar approach in her classroom. Instead of focusing on the blatant bullying that occurred in the school; or might occur, she focused on the little thing. For example, she addressed the name calling every time she caught it. For example, when kids refer to someone as being a “loser” even though most would consider that a minor offense, she used it as a teachable moment and explained how that language hurts. She realized that if she could get her kids to use positive language rather than negative language, the idea of bullying would be less appealing to them as well and would be less tolerated.
She got results! By modeling to her kids how to act positively and demanding that they do the same, she has virtually eliminated bullying in her 6th grade classroom!
If you try this idea and it works for you as well, please let me know as I’d love to hear about your success.
This article was written by Susan Fitzell. To get more great advice from Susan Fitzell, visit her website at: http://susanfitzell.com/