I must stop the "bullying"

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Pi-R-Squared, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I believe I have most of my classes under good control. However, my 5th period class contains students who bully. While it doesn't appear or sound like what bullying typically looks like, it's the student who makes fun of a girl who says she doesn't understand what I am doing with a sarcastically toned "I don't understand" sing-songy talkback. Or, it's a girl who thinks she's a tough girl and taunts other boys and girls. It's getting a bit worse over time and I think enough is enough even enough was probably last week or two weeks ago. In summary, a new girl arrived from out-of-state and doesn't know many in the class. The mean girl in the back likes to taunt her with verbal insults and a boy does the sing-songy sarcasm. If both of these students were not in class, my job would be easy. The mean girl was out Friday and hardly any insults were flying around. Seems like the mean boy had no one to play with so his insults to the new girl were not one-upped. Some threats like "I'm gonna throw this eraser at your head" and "Your face scares me" come out of the mean girl's mouth. I've already written her actions in my log and taken her out of the room to talk. I've said I would call her parents if it continued. Something tells me that when the mean girl returns on Monday, it will be trouble. Any suggestions?
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    You have to stop it NOW! This is horrible.
    I'd have a one on conversation with each student and make sure they understand what they're doing, what it really is, why it's wrong, and that it has to stop right NOW. One more insult will get the consequence.
    I would call the parent after that, let them know what has been happening and that you talked to the student. The parent will probably ask you why you've waited so long, that's why I would not wait until the next problem.
    And I'd document everything.
    Put yourself in the new girl's shoes, she knows no one, and a student is physically / emotionally threatening her. If it was my child, I'd be furious.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I agree with Linguist.

    This is bullying and it is happening in your classroom in front of you. Speak with the students, first thing tomorrow, and let them know that their bullying will not be tolerated and that consequences will be swift and severe. Involve administration and parents if it continues.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Shut them down. Immediately.

    The next time you hear even a hint of it, you address it head on. Writing names down in a log is NOT enough-- the consequences need to be immediate and severe enough to stop it.

    And I agree: involve adminsitration.

    You want to take me on in class...OK, game on. But don't you DARE pick on one of your classmates.
     
  6. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    It absolutely is bullying and you need to involve administration immediately. We have a very specific protocol for dealing with bullying that is tied to laws.
     
  7. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    This isn't "bullying". It's bullying. This should not have gone on as long as it has. Next time, stop it sooner.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Detentions and other consequences are long overdue here. Detentions and other consequences were long overdue pretty much from the second time they occurred!
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    And actually, I'd say this is worse than normal bullying. At least if these students were bullying someone who had been in the school, they'd already have a support system built up. In this case, by going after a new girl, they are going after somebody who is truly defenseless, AND who will find it harder and harder to build up a support system of friends, BECAUSE of the very abuse she is taking right in front of a teacher. You need to deal with this strongly tomorrow. I don't feel that it would be inappropriate for you to pull the two "mean kids" aside at the beginning of class to tell them that they will be going immediately to the principal's office at the first hint of any remotely inappropriate comment.

    I get that you're a new teacher, but you can't let things like this go on. I can't even imagine how that poor girl is feeling. Being in a new school as a middle/high schooler, in a new state, facing bullying, and a teacher who is witnessing it is doing nothing (that she can see)? That poor girl has to feel awful about herself, and after you deal with the "mean girls," you owe that student a heartfelt apology.
     
  10. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    Anytime I hear a student say something mean to a classmate, I always stop what I'm doing and address it immediately. Swift action needs to take place. It's time to involve admin and start giving out consequences to the two involved students. That behavior is unacceptable. As a parent, if I knew that my child was being picked on and the teacher knew but didn't stop it, I'd be livid.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Like others have said, this is absolutely bullying, not pseudo-bullying or bullying-in-quotation-marks.

    This kind of offense is one that needs to be handled severely and immediately. Don't waste time in your log book. Send the offenders out of your room with a referral to the office (or however your school's discipline plan works).
     
  12. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    This reminds me of the book "Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes (speaking of which, you may want to read that one, Pi-R-Squared). I always read it aloud to my kids the first week of school, and we always talk about what the teacher did wrong in that story, and what the kids would want me to do better.
     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Since you already have your documentation, show it to your principal, explaining that you are going to simply send this girl to him or her if any future behavior like this occurs. That way, you can at least use the evidence you've accumulated and stop any further harm. DEFINITELY drop the quotations marks and become someone who stands up rather than stands by. You can do this, but you have to start now.
     
  14. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Yes.

    Administration needs to be involved.

    Make an example of this mean girl. Send the message that everybody in your classroom is safe and can feel like they can learn in a healthy environment.

    Be the upstander this new student needs.

    Praying for your success.
     
  15. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Yes, this definitely needs to be stopped. I'm glad that you notice this is bullying.
     
  16. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Yes, definitely bullying and definitely needs to be stopped Monday. If that happened in my room I would stop the lesson immediately and address it. The first thing you need to do is show the bullies you are NOT afraid of them. Look them straight in the eye and tell them like it is: that what they are doing will not happen in YOUR room--this is your room, your lesson, your time. Make it clear, it's your classroom and what you say goes. When it first started happening it would of been: 1st offense= lunch detention. 2nd offense would be to send them out. If they refuse to leave, tell them they can leave or you'll call someone to escort them out--either way they're leaving they can choose the easy way or the hard way. They should realize you mean business at that point, but if it continued despite your measures they need to go to the office, period. Counselors would need to get involved if routine class discipline did not end the in-class bullying.
     
  17. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. I know it's totally my fault for not addressing this sooner and with firmer actions. Before the weekend, I spoke to the bullied girl during my planning period (it comes right after the class with the bullies) and asked her about how she's been handling things as a new student. She said she can stand up for herself, knows that the mean girl is just trying to prove that she's a tough girl, and that the only issue she has is with the boy who sits one seat over from her, the one who sing-songs the "I'm so confused..." backtalk... I told her that I am taking care of the situation and that she should't be picked on in my class. Therefore, tomorrow, I plan on doing the following:

    I will speak with the P and AP about the two problem students in 5th period and that I will send them to the office if they bully anyone in my class. Since the P has already informed me that I should not "put up with anything," I'm going to give him the heads-up that someone may be coming to his office. Also, I will be calling their parents/guardians after my parent-teacher conference (see other thread topic in the same forum) and will tell them how they have been behaving. That is my plan of action. If there are any other suggestions for me, I am open! :D
     
  18. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    This needs to be reported to administration ASAP. If your state is like mine, it's the law to report any instances of bullying immediately so an investigation can take place.
     
  19. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Have you signed up for the programs and materials at Teaching Tolerance? They are wonderful, and free.

    http://www.tolerance.org/
     
  20. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Talking to the victim's family was a great first step that you hadn't mentioned. That girl knows she is not alone and is acknowledged. Now it's time to deal with the Mean Girl. Be careful that you put it on the bully's actions and vocalizations in class, not on your protection of the victim. That way, she seriously has nobody to blame but herself, and doesn't bug her victim further.
     
  21. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    As a former "bullied kid," thank you for putting a stop to this. On behalf of myself and others that have gone through bullying though, don't ever let it get to that point again! You can't stop what you can't see/don't know about, but when you see it happen, you really need to respond immediately.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Just one little PS:


    ..or anyone else's. It's not something they're going to move to the bus or the park, it's OVER. Or else. And if it happens again, you'll be all over it, and it won't be pretty.

    I'm not a fan of intimidating kids... except in this particular situation. Then the mama bear comes out in full force.

    Once it hits my radar, it's OVER. Or else.
     
  23. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Well, the "mean girl" did not show up in class until the very end of class. She had a Dr's appointment. The class went very well without her as it was "work on a worksheet in groups" day. Now, I definitely know who the troublemaker really is and how she eggs on the other ones. Looks like the mean girl will be visiting the office TOMORROW when she acts up!
     
  24. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    It's sad that you know it's "when" and not "if". However, you have things set in place, hopefully with a script in mind. What did you administration say about your documentation and your action plan?
     
  25. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    The P and AP said that it is not a reflection on me as a teacher if I am to send students to the office AS LONG AS I have written documentation of occurrences, performed some classroom management techniques (seat changes, stare downs, walk-arounds, etc...), and parental contact. They said the next time they cause havoc and disrupt other students' learning, I can write them up and send them down. I asked them if sending students causes me to lose credibility and they said only if that's the first thing I do. :lol:
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm liking your administration a LOT!!!

    It sounds as though they're giving you the tools for success, but letting you find you own way as well.
     
  27. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    For the past few weeks, I've been talking to a veteran math teacher concerning what's been happening in regards to classroom management and not about the bullying. She says that you need to make an example out of somebody just to show them that I mean business. Thank God I bought the "Tools for Teaching" book and read it because the kids, more or less, have done more goofing off than anything else and I've been successful with hushing them with stares and walk-by-visits.

    Now, I totally see the bullying as an entirely different matter that goes beyond regular goofing off. I believe someone will be sent to the office today and the administration already knows their names and the P told me, "If xxxxxxxx acts up, you send him to me and I'll straighten him out. Don't you worry about it. We'll take care of it." :thumb:
     
  28. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Keep us in the loop about how this goes the first few times (and it will take more than one trip to the office, most likely).
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    How did it go today??
     
  30. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    The "mean girl" was relatively quiet yesterday. We were in groups so that made some difference. Today is test review day (personal white boards and markers). There could be trouble brewing as the troublemakers will be in their normal seats today.
     
  31. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    The troublemaker boy in the class almost earned a ticket to the office by muttering something that was meant to aggravate BUT I could not clearly hear what he said. So, I pulled out the discipline form and started writing and making check marks. He proceeded to behave the rest of the class period.

    Today is test day so there should be no problems. It's tomorrow, another instruction day, that could be cause for concern.

    Also, yesterday, I caught some 7th period kids (the last period) after dismissal going into my behavior log and reading it. It's my fault that I didn't keep them seated while waiting for their dismissal bell. There are 3. First for car riders. Second for the first bus wave. Third for the second bus wave. So I wrote their names in the behavior log book for defying authority.
     
  32. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sounds like that log needs a lock on it like a diary!
     

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