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Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Outreach/Bully Prevention I

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Bully Prevention I
North American Division


Skill Level 1
Year of Introduction: 2018



Note: Because of the sensitive nature (and prevalence) of bullying, it is suggested that this honor be taught by an individual who has recently received training or done meaningful reading/research on the topic of bully prevention (and if possible has been certified on this topic). The BEST way to earn this honor is over a series of sessions, so that the principles become a part of the participants’ nature rather than quickly learned and as quickly forgotten.

Note: Bully Prevention I and II were written without one being the prerequisite of the other so that the instructor could choose the honor(s) to teach that are most relevant to the group and group dynamics.

1. Give a basic definition of bullying. Clearly differentiate between bullying and conflict.

The act of bullying can be defined as repetitious behavior with the intent to cause harm against someone who has trouble defending him/herself.

"A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself." www.teacher.org/resource/bullying/

Bullying is an intentional behavior that hurts, harms, or humiliates a student, either physically or emotionally, and can happen while at school, in the community, or online. Those bullying often have more social or physical “power,” while those targeted have difficulty stopping the behavior. The behavior is typically repeated, though it can be a one-time incident.

Students often describe bullying as when “someone makes you feel less about who you are as a person.”

Note: Definitions vary greatly. These are not legal definitions. Find your state’s law and definition at StopBullying.gov.

Bullying is different from conflict. Conflict is a disagreement between two sides, but both are able to enunciate their views/needs. To contrast:

  • Conflict is a disagreement or argument in which both sides express their views.
  • Bullying is negative behavior directed by someone exerting power and control over another person.

“With bullying, there is often a power imbalance between those involved, with power defined as elevated social status, being physically larger, or as part of a group against an individual. Students who bully perceive their target as vulnerable in some way and often find satisfaction in harming them.

In normal conflict, children self-monitor their behavior. They read cues to know if lines are crossed, and then modify their behavior in response. Children guided by empathy usually realize they have hurt someone and will want to stop their negative behavior. On the other hand, children intending to cause harm and whose behavior goes beyond normal conflict responses might think, ‘Cool, I have more power. This is fun! Let’s see if I can break this kid!’” (pacer.org/resources)

2. Briefly describe the following types of bullying:

a. Verbal Bullying

Verbal bullying involves the usage of statements, phrases, or name calling to control an individual. This is often a continuous act, designed to take place on a regular basis.

b. Physical Bullying

Physical bullying involves the use of force on their target to gain control. This may involve hitting, biting, kicking, punching, or some other form of violence. It may involve one person bigger, stronger, and more hostile than their intended target.

c. Prejudicial bullying

3. Briefly describe the differences between self-acceptance, self-esteem, and personal identity. Share how you think a healthy amount of these qualities could protect someone from experiencing a bully situation.

Self-acceptance is the act of acknowledging your strengths and deficiencies, no matter what others think or how they view you as a person.

Self-esteem is the act of feeling a sense of satisfaction about his/her own abilities or accomplishments, which can be used as a tool to evaluate or measure his/her self-worth.

4. Memorize and explain four basic rules of bully prevention.

a. We will not bully others

b. We will try to help students who are bullied

c. We will try to include students who are left out

d. If we know somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school/church and an adult at home

While we tend to discourage rote memorization in most cases, if individuals KNOW these four rules and situations in which they can be applied, then they are more able to handle situations when they encounter them. In the same way that we memorize 9-1-1 or “Stop, Drop, and Roll” so that our response is automatic, in the same way memorizing these four rules can make responses to bully situations much more positive in their outcomes.

5. What are some of the signs to look for that could determine if an individual is suffering from some form of bullying?

This is an open question designed for self-reflection. However, research indicates the following signs (among others). Updates to this list can be easily researched online.

  • A decline in academic performance
  • Can experience random stomach pain or diarrhea
  • Can experience issues with eating and overall appetite
  • Low levels of self-esteem
  • Stress
  • Varying forms of depression; anxiety
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Committing the act of suicide

6. What are different roles people play when being part of a bullying situation (often described as the Bully Circle)? Which roles have you witnessed happen in situations you have seen or been involved in?

A Bully Circle is a definition to help individuals understand the different roles people find themselves playing in a bully situation. Online videos for “bully circle” will assist the teacher a lot when teaching this core concept.

Person Bullying - a person(s) that exhibit bully behavior Followers - people who take part in the bully behavior, but don't usually initiate it Supporters - people who are not taking part in the bully behavior, but support it Passive Supporters - people who support it, but don't openly show it Disengaged Onlookers - people that watch, but do not act Possible Defenders - people who dislike the bully behavior, but do not act Defenders - people who actively try to stop the bully behavior Victim - person being bullied

7. What are possible long-term consequences for those who remain bullies?

To cite news.nationalgeographic.com, “There are ‘well-documented studies, both short- and long-term, showing that kids who are involved in bullying do have other problematic outcomes,’ Bradshaw said. For instance, children who bully are more likely to be members of gangs, carry a weapon, and have truancy problems.”

verywellfamily.com states a variety of negative consequences such as: “increased risk of experiencing depression, anxiety disorder, and psychological distress, especially if they face up to the seriousness of their bullying behavior. Bullies are more likely to abuse tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana. They are more likely than their peers to engage in early sexual activity.” They also mention higher high school dropout rates and higher violent crime rates in adulthood.

8. Briefly describe how the following Biblical examples demonstrate bullying and how it relates to our responsibilities as followers of Christ:

a. David and his brothers – 1 Samuel 17:28, 29

1 Samuel 17:28, 29 (NKJV)
Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?”

b. Joseph and his brothers – Genesis 37

You can read this chapter onine here: Genesis 37

c. Mary and Judas – John 12:1-7

John 12:1-7 (NKJV)
Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial.

With the information learned during “Bully Circle” and “the four rules” one could discuss WHO the characters in each of the stories were and what might have changed if there had been (more) defenders or if the four rules had been followed. Other discussion questions might include: How did God use bad situations to build inner strength in our Bible heros? How did God protect the bullied person(s) from ultimate harm or loss of hope? How did each find courage or strength in God in their bullied situation? Did any of the bullies in the stories change their positions in the bully circle? Was this change a benefit to them or others?

9. Have a guest speaker or trained professional give a presentation about the following impacts of bullying:

a. How a person can become the target of bullying

b. Short-term and long-term effects of bullying

c. How pulling someone down will never help you to reach the top

d. How to identify some of the common traits of a bully

e. Where to get help if being bullied

This is a presentation so that CORRECT information is shared with the individuals earning the honor. It is important that these topics aren’t “what the majority says” or “what my peer group believes to be true.” These are topics with research to back up information and outcomes. Find a professional at your school, public school, community health organization, police department, or through other city and county departments that you can discover online.

10. Discuss a time when each of the following may have occurred. What is one thing that might have changed the situation or averted the bully situation?

This is a question designed for self-reflection. Because of the sensitivity of this topic there is no need to draw out details of these experiences or share them with others. It is important that in any discussion NAMES (especially if present in the community circle) should not be used. If there is abuse in the situation, then the 4th rule of bullying comes into play, and the child should be encouraged to speak to an adult at school/church and at home.

a. A person was bullied because (s)he did not follow the styles or fashions of others

b. A person went along with bullying in order to feel accepted by others

c. A person’s choice of words were interpreted by another as bullying

11. Discuss from a Christian’s perspective what options are available if you become the target of verbal, physical, or prejudicial bullying. Briefly describe some actions you can take to stay safe. (Remember the rules of Bully Prevention)

There are a number of options that should be considered if you become the target of bullying:

  • Tell the person bullying you to stop, but in a Christian like manner.
  • Try engaging the individual by laughing off the joke. This may offset the person’s approach, since this may not have been expected.
  • walk away from the situation, and keep your distance.
  • Find an adult who can stop the bullying.

To stay safe:

  • Talk to an adult that can be trusted. This person may be a parent, next door neighbor, an Elder, a member of the church, or the pastor. *The act of telling someone can also serve to ease your frustration.
  • If you are aware of the places where the bullying occurs, make an extra effort to stay away from these places.
  • Stay near adults who can assist if something does happen, since their presence will most likely serve as a deterrent.

This is an open question in which dialogue is encouraged.

12. Create a list of 3-5 qualities that characterize a good friend. Discuss with a group which you believe are the best aspects. Personally evaluate which aspects of friendship you are best at.

There are a variety of activities you can do with this one. A classic is a note on each person’s back which each other member goes around and writes one POSITIVE STRENGTH that each individual has. Another is to use “character trait cards” (a one word character trait on each note card) that circles of kids choose to describe the person on their “left.” The groups discuss and share.

Search online for “character traits qualities games Christian” for other ideas.

13. Briefly describe how practicing a Christian lifestyle can affect your approach to bullying.

14. Create a small poster illustrating the importance of bully prevention by including an action beginning with “I can” or “I will.” Post this in a high traffic area.

The idea is to work as a group to create visuals that help one “plant in their hearts” other options rather than bullying or being a victim.


15. Role-play or discuss scenarios where you could use at least two of the following strategies to confront bullying:

a. Seek out and surround yourself with true friends

b. Maintain self-control

c. Ignore the bully

d. Avoid the bully

e. Do not show any reaction to the bullying

f. Be confident about yourself

g. Seek out an adult to help you change the bullying situation

This is an open question designed to engage Pathfinders to develop scenarios involving terminology learned from earlier questions. They should be made aware that there are limitations to several of these options, and that the goal is to end bullying for everyone!

16. As a group, strategize how to successfully follow bully prevention rules in each of the following situations:

a. If you are the victim and feel bullied, yet are afraid if you tell adults, you will not be heard.

b. If you are the bystander who sees bullying happening to a friend, but the friend is unable or unwilling to report to an adult by themselves.

c. If you are the bystander who sees bullying happening, but both the bully and the victim are your good friends.

These questions are easier if the earlier parts of the honor have been discussed and internalized over time. Practice thinking through scenarios so that when real life situations occur, a positive outcome is more likely!

Instructors should NOT give away easy answers, but rather refer them back to principles they have already learned.

17. Do one of the following bully prevention activities individually or as a group:

a. Create a strategy outlining four ways in which you can help become a part of the solution to verbal, physical, or prejudicial bullying. Briefly outline your approach and be prepared to share with the group.

b. With adults, develop a policy for your group designed to address bullying. Brainstorm what guidelines should be included. Commit to supporting this policy within your sphere of influence (home, church, club, Sabbath school group, etc.).