Junior high can be tough. When you add bullying into the mix, junior high can become downright impossible. Recent studies show that 28% of students grades 6-12 report having been bullied at some time during school. Worse still, the same studies show that 70% of students in grades 6-12 have witnessed another student being bullied. Sadly, if not addressed, bullying can lead to alarming consequences, including suicide. In fact, the number of teens who commit suicide after being bullied at school continues to escalate.
Luckily, there are things that educators can do to help stop bullying in school. One way is to get all the students involved in meaningful communication through assemblies and other learning opportunities. If you've decided to hold an anti-bullying assembly in your school. Be sure to get the kids involved. Kids learn better, and listen more attentively, when they're actively engaged. Here are a few ideas for planning an effective anti-bullying assembly at your school.
Make It a Movie Day
This is a time when kids watch a lot of movies. In fact, movies are one of the most popular entertainment venues for kids. If you've got a school full of junior-high aged students, use some popular movies to teach about bullying. There are actually quite a few movies that portray bullying in a way that will facilitate open communication with your students. Some of them include Karate Kid, Mean Girls, and Cyberbully. Have the students watch the movies, and them discuss each instance where bullying occurred.
Look at it From Different Angles
When it comes to bullying, there are a few different angles to look at, and each angle is vital to the discussion. When planning an anti-bullying assembly, invite people to speak who can present different sides of the topic.
The first people you'll want to hear from will be those who were bullied in school. Choose people who are willing to speak up about how the bullying affected them, and how they overcame it.
Bullying doesn't just affect the person being bullied. It also affects the bully. Ask a former bully to address your students. Have them discuss why they bullied and how it made them feel. It's also a good idea to have them discuss ways that they believe could prevent future bullying.
Bring in the Big Guns
If you've got the budget for a full-blown anti-bullying assembly, bring in the big-guns. There are quite a few professional anti-bullying groups who will come to your school and provide an entire program. These anti-bullying groups provide meaningful education in an entertaining way that gets all kids involved in the learning.