Fourth graders complete their tour of "Bully Free Island" with a discussion on what to do if you are the target of bully behavior. We read the story "Simon's Hook" and discuss the fact that often the sole purpose of teasing is to get a reaction. The children learn that they do not always have "to bite" and get caught on the hook. They have other options and do not have to feel powerless, stuck, or controlled by others. They learn how to swim around the hook and choose one of their other options. The only part of the interaction that they can control is their own attitude and behavior and thus they can take back their own personal power. Some of the strategies we learn are on our "Swim Free" bookmarks and "Bully Free Island" poster. For example, children can:

    Laugh or make a joke of it
    Walk away or ignore (once)
    Find safe places or people
    Choose not to believe the bully
    Report it 

    To help your child recognize his/her choices and personal power when they tell you stories of teasing you can ask questions such as those listed below or make comments that reinforce this lesson.

    Did you bite? 

    I see a hook.

    Someone's been fishing.

    How could you avoid that hook?

    How can you swim free?

    The children work on developing their own Bully Proof Defense Shield, which they can show you as well. 


    Homework: Review the "Bully Free Island" poster sent home. Encourage the children to use this as a reference when you find yourself in the role of the Bully, Target, or Bystander. Click here to see a color version of the Bully Free Island poster. https://youthlight.com/images/bfpost.jpg