Lesson 4

Bullying and Harassment


Lesson Goal:

To discourage bullying behaviors among participants.


Lesson Objectives:

  • Identify five bullying behaviors.
  • Describe the effects of bullying and harassment.
  • Describe ways to deal with a bullying or harassment situation.


Content Standards Addressed:

Common Core State Standards

National Standards


Bullying and harassment are experienced by most teens. Anyone and everyone can be a bully, and it can happen anywhere. This problem needs to be addressed. The effects can last a lifetime and can be very detrimental. Some examples of bullying behavior include:

  • Name calling.
  • Pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking.
  • Spreading rumors.
  • Isolating someone from something.
  • Mean looks.
  • Threats.
  • Taking things from someone.
  • Insults.

Who can be considered a bully or harasser? 

  • Brothers/sisters.
  • Friends.
  • Adults.
  • Anyone.

Why do people bully/harass?

  • Jealousy.
  • Power over someone.
  • Want something from that person.
  • Friends encourage you to do it.
  • It's fun. (Or so they think.)
  • It's part of school life/lots of people do it/it's no big deal.
  • Thought the other person liked it.
  • Way of showing you like that person.

Effects of bullying/harassment.

  • People do not want to attend school or activities.
  • Victims isolate themselves.
  • Victim gets sick.
  • Victims feel bad about themselves.
  • People tolerate the bully because they are afraid of his/her actions.
  • Other people start to tease the victim along with the bully.

What to do if you are being bullied or harassed:

  • Ignore the behavior/bully.
  • Tell the person that you do not like the behavior.
  • Walk away from the bully.
  • If the bullying continues, talk to an adult or ask for help from a friend.
  • If you have tried the first four things listed and it still does not stop, make a documented list of when, where and what happens when you are bullied.
  • If the bullying becomes life threatening, it may be best to get the police involved.

Bullying needs to be taken seriously. Bullying and harassment should not be tolerated anywhere. Most people do not report bullying due to the fear that nothing will be done or that the bullying will just get worse. Everyone needs to be involved to stop bullying, especially people who are bystanders (people indirectly involved in bullying situations, not the victim or bully) to a bullying incident.

Girls often use more verbal types of bullying such as insults and spreading rumors. Boys use more physical types of bullying.

Another type of bullying that happens at this age is called sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is any unwelcome words or actions of a sexual nature. This may include inappropriate touching, insults about one's gender, comments about a person's body and inappropriate pictures of people's bodies. These are just a few examples of sexual harassment. Most schools and workplaces have policies against this, and it can be punishable by law. Schools and workplaces are responsible to protect students and employees from sexual harassment.



Song, "Don't Laugh At Me"

Note: This song makes references to God. Its use is up to the discretion of the teacher. 

1. Read participants the lyrics to the song "Don't Laugh At Me" (shown below).

2. Have the participants write a short paragraph about what it means to them.

3. Listen to the song before or after the participants write the paragraph.

Lyrics to the song, "Don't Laugh At Me" 

I'm a little boy with glasses, the one they call a "geek"
A little girl who never smiles cuz I got braces on my teeth.
And I know how it feels to cry myself to sleep
I'm that kid on every playground who's always chosen last.
A single teenage mother tryin' to overcome my past.
You don't have to be my friend it is too much to ask...
Don't laugh at me; don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Some day we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me.
I'm the beggar on the corner
You've passed me on the street
I wouldn't be here begging if I had enough to eat
And don't think I don't notice that our eyes never meet
Don't laugh at me; don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Some day we'll have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me
I'm fat, I'm thin. I'm short. I'm tall. I'm deaf. I'm blind.
Hey aren't we all?
Don't laugh at me; don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Some day we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me.
Don't laugh at me.
Song reprinted with permission
Written by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin
Sung by Peter, Paul and Mary and Mark Wills


Reproducible: Check Your Bullying IQ

1. Makes copies for each participant of the reproducible, Check Your Bullying IQ.

2. Discuss the questions and answers with the students.

3. Answers are found here


Anti-Bullying Day

1. Promote the day by making posters for the school or facility where you meet.

2. Present the role plays in the next activity.

3. Bring in songs that have the anti-bullying theme to listen to as a group.

4. Get the local media involved by informing them of your campaign.

5. Have each participant in the group/class research bullying and find statistics to present about the effects of bullying.


Role Plays

1. Have the participants act out the following scenes.

2. Discuss with the participants what could have been done differently in these scenes.

If the participants want to ad lib throughout the scene, allow them to do this. It will give a better idea of what type of bullying is happening in their lives.


The New Girl

Ashley is the new girl and is having some problems at her middle school. Some of the other girls are giving her problems. The scene takes place in a half full of lockers.

Ashley walks up to her locker. A few lockers down, Becky and some of her friends are talking and looking at Ashley.

Becky - "Hey ladies have you seen that new girl Ashley? What a dork! Did you see what she was wearing today?"

Sue - "Yeah, I don't know where she gets her clothes, but she needs to go somewhere else."

The group of girls in the hall looks at Ashley and laugh. Ashley tries to hide her tears and runs to the bathroom.


Boys Will Be Boys

Andy, Rob, Billie, Max and John all play football with some other guys at the park. One particular day at the park, the game got out of hand.

All the boys are in a huddle discussing the next play.

Andy - "All right let's do the cobra play. Does everyone know what to do?"

Rob - "Yeah."

Billie - "Yeah."

Max - "Yeah."

John - "Yeah."

Andy - "Hut, hut, hike!"

Player from the other team - "OFF SIDES!!! On Max."

Max - "No way! Are you blind!"

Player from the other team - "No, but it looks like you are. Your glasses are thicker than my windshield, and you can't catch to save your life."

Max - "Shut up, Idiot!

The player from the other team shoves Max.



Anna likes having power over people. She sometimes spreads rumors that are untrue. One day she is standing with her friends before school.

Anna - "Did you hear what Brandon did?"

Other girl - "No, what?"

Anna - "He got caught stealing last night at the mall."

Other girl - "But he was at my house last night playing games with my brother."

Anna - "I was just kidding."

The other girls don't know what to say next.


Leader's Fast Facts:

1. By age 24, up to 60 percent of people who are identified as childhood bullies have at least one criminal conviction.

2. Bullying occurs once every seven minutes.

3. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, 74 percent of children ages 8-11 and 86 percent of children aged 12-15 experienced teasing and bullying in their schools (2001).


Additional Resources

The Safe Zone: A Kid's Guide to Personal Safety.  By Donna Chalet and Francine Russell. Morrow Junior Books, 1998.

Everything You Need to Know About School Violence. By Anna Kreiner. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 1996.