Series: Bullying

Change Attitudes Toward Bullying: Be An Ally
Lesson Objective: Affect student beliefs by encouraging students to be allies
All Grades / All Subjects / Bullying

Thought starters

  1. Why is it important to distinguish between bullies, bystanders and allies?
  2. What elements of the student-led workshop play an integral part in changing the school culture?
  3. How does mediation seek to change student attitudes?
18 Comments
I have used these and other videos in my class during our Social Skills period to help distinguish between being a bully, a bystander, and an ally. There are huge differences in each part and having my students role play different scenarios has helped them to fully comprehend the attitude of each stance. They are aware of how each treats others, how each expects to be treated, and how each can help others in the same situations. I believe that my students enjoyed the role playing and videos to truly help them understand what they have that contributes to or takes away from a bullying situation.
Recommended (0)
Please contact me for IMPROV Workshops for students or teachers to build "allies and enlightened witnesses" to prevent bullying. I am a certified NYS teacher and author of health books for children at HOHM Press & Kalindi Publishers. I conduct these workshops - see the video at www.facebook.com/discovertheherowithin and please call 928-710-5983. Best for All, E. April
Recommended (0)
Great video! I believe that the student led workshops surrounded around bullying and what is meant by "being an ally" is great because students are most likely to listen to their peers than to adults. They respond well to those that they can relate to and the workshops allow for student interactions and discussions which keeps the issue alive and allows for the Ally culture to grow.
Recommended (0)
Allies is a great idea. Giving them a "replacement" behavior instead of telling them they are not to do something is one of the best ways to change behavior. Kids need to know what to do, not just what not to do.
Recommended (0)
Great Skills being taught. We must continue to encourage, empower the students with appropriate skills.
Recommended (0)

Transcripts

  • Luna Productions
    Transcript
    Be An Ally – review copy
    http://vimeo.com/33246254
    December 17, 2011

    title:
    “TEACHING CHANNEL Presents”
    “BE AN ALLY”

    [01:00:09;22]

    Narration:

    Luna Productions
    Transcript
    Be An Ally – review copy
    http://vimeo.com/33246254
    December 17, 2011

    title:
    “TEACHING CHANNEL Presents”
    “BE AN ALLY”

    [01:00:09;22]

    Narration:
    For many middle schools, bullying is a perennial problem. This is a story about one school that’s trying to stop bullying by creating allies.

    [01:00:20;22]

    Narration:
    Rosina Keren is the only paid counselor at Longfellow Middle School. Together with her staff of counseling interns and 8th graders in her leadership class, Rosina kicks of the year with “Be An Ally Month”.

    [01:00:34;24]

    Rosina: (titled “Rosina Keren, School Counselor Longfellow Middle School”)
    This is our 4th year focusing on bullying. The first year we did it, we said “Don’t be a bully.” Because at least stop the negative behavior. But then we started to realize, when you tell someone what not to do, you really want to tell them something positive to do. Like – Don’t scratch your nose, don’t scratch your nose. Oh, my nose itches all of a sudden. So, we say be an ally.

    [01:00:51;18]

    sign
    “Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be an Ally”

    [01:00:55;12]

    Narration:
    During the month of October, the be an ally message is everywhere.

    [01:00:59;11]

    Rosina: (interview)
    We have the tee-shirt competition. And, we have the be-an-ally bracelet sales. And, we have morning announcements every singe day.*ding*…the workshops that are done by leadership…*ding* We sometimes have an assembly. And then we have the English, History class, the Math classes, the Science classes, the PE classes. Every single student will have heard about being an ally ideally 6 times, six facilitated discussions.*ding*

    [01:01:23;15]

    Rosina: (interview)
    It’s important to get the message from every level of the school. So you want it to be in the classrooms and on the yard, the cafeteria workers, the custodians, the whole school campus. And then, the other piece, which is our students’ voice, which is the voice that kids listen to the most.

    [01:01:42;22]

    title:
    "9:05 am"
    "Morning Announcements"

    [01:01:47;04]
    Students: (classroom)
    They call us allies, allies, allies, allies. And we be sparking all day, and we be sparking all day. They call us tigers, tigers, tigers, tigers. And we be sparking all day, and we be sparking all day.

    [01:01:58;29]

    Rosina: (interview)
    Everyday at morning announcements we talk about being an ally. The more the message is out there, the better.

    Raynette: (classroom)
    Continue to be allies. Longfellow students are not bystanders. Learn how to safely intervene. Our leadership class is doing workshops in your class this month.

    [01:02:14;20]

    title:
    "'Be an Ally' Workshop"

    Narration:
    Today, Rosina and the leadership students are doing a workshop for a class of 7th graders.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    We are ready for a good workshop, right?

    [01:02:22;24]

    Rosina: (interview)
    Leadership is a group of a dozen 8th graders who are chosen from the social strata of our school - students who have friends in different groups, all with different interests and different strengths. And so then, together, we go do a presentation. Ideally, every student sees themselves reflected in the leadership class.

    [01:02:41;18]

    Vanessa: (classroom)
    Hi. We are from this year's leadership class. My name's Vanessa.

    Adan: (classroom)
    I'm Adan.

    (more introductions...)

    [01:02:48;20]

    Rosina: (interview)
    So, the idea behind the workshop is to have the kids' voice telling other students to be an ally.

    Vanessa: (classroom)
    Today we are going to do a workshop with you guys about how to be an ally and how not to be a bystander.

    [01:03:00;22]

    Young Man: (classroom)
    Can someone tell us what a bully is?

    [01:03:03;17]

    Student in class:
    Someone who keeps picking on people for no reason.

    Rosina: (interview)
    We start with the definition of 3 primary topics. What is a bully?

    Student in class:
    Um... When they're saying bad things to someone.

    [01:03:15;07]

    Rosina: (interview)
    Then we ask, What is a bystander?

    Student Leader: (classroom)
    Does anybody know what a bystander is?

    [01:03:18;20]

    Rosina: (interview)
    And we try and illicit the answers from the kids in the class.

    Student in class:
    Um... Someone who knows, like, that people are being bullied, but just choose not to intervene because they probably don't want to get bullied themselves.

    Rosina: (interview)
    And then we asked: What is an ally?

    [01:03:33;07]

    Adan: (classroom)
    Can anyone tell me what an ally is?

    Student in class:
    Someone that will stand up to a bully to protect their friend or someone else.

    [01:03:43;22]

    Narration:
    Next - the leadership students perform a skit based on their own experiences with bullying.

    Luis: (classroom)
    Three students are sitting at a table talking about facebook. Take a note. Which one's acting like a bully? Which one's acting like a bystander? Is anyone being an ally?

    [01:04:00;11]

    Student leader: (classroom)
    Did you see F's facebook?

    Other student leader: (classroom)
    I sure did. What an idiot. I saw the stupid pictures of when he was cutting himself.

    Student leader: (classroom)
    Yeah. And he had about 20 comments telling him about how stupid he looks...

    [01:04:10;02]

    Rosina: (interview)
    The two skits that they did, these are situations that have actually occurred. We talk to them a lot about what are the issues that they see. What are the challenges in this school, particular experiences they've had? And then we brainstormed all the different possibilities.

    [01:04:23;17]

    Other student leader: (classroom)
    I got an idea. How about we post a photo on facebook and tag him doing it with...

    Rosina: (interview)
    So, the first skit was the one with cyber-bullying.

    Student leader: (classroom)
    That's pretty messed up.

    [01:04:32;16]

    Rosina: (interview)
    Some kids were posting mean comments about another kid on facebook. And then, one student tried to help. The kids have empathy and understand where is the student coming from, and then to suggest that they stop.

    [01:04:45;18]

    Student leader: (classroom)
    But, do you ever think why he does that? Maybe no one at home helps him. Maybe someone has hurt him. Maybe he's depressed.

    Other student leader: (classroom)
    I don't care. He puts stuff out there like that, why shouldn't we have fun? He likes attention doesn't he? Lets get out of here, he's coming.

    (one student stays and pats the boy on the back)

    [01:05:10;01]

    Rosina: (interview)
    The leadership does a skit. And then we break up into small groups so every student has a chance to process what they saw, and reflect on the behaviors that we want to see in them.

    [01:05:20;08]

    Raynette: (classroom)
    Who was the ally?

    Female student leader: (classroom)
    Who was the bystander?

    Other female student: (classroom)
    Who was the bully in the story?

    Student leader: (classroom)
    What would you differently if you were in the same situation I was in?

    Girl: (classroom)
    I would've stuck up for him too and tell him that's not ok.

    Female student leader: (classroom)
    Would you guys tell a teacher or a close friend?

    [01:05:34;03]

    Girls: (classroom)
    I would tell a teacher and a close friend.

    [01:05:37;23]

    Female student: (classroom)
    If your being an ally, a lot of people think that like, if you go tell a teacher you're a snitch. Its really helping out the one that's getting bullied. Just go to tell the teacher if you can't stop the bullying.

    Kid: (classroom)
    ...he's our friend. And uh, we just like playing around, saying...

    Rosina: (interview)
    Bullying takes place in large part because kids are struggling for their social standing, especially when you talk about the more subtle types of bullying which is even between friends.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    Did you hear what he said?

    Raynette: (classroom)
    Yeah. Sometimes people use it as a disguise but when they're really hurt, they just laugh and play around. Because they want to be cool and want to fit in and want to be you guys's friend. So... I think that you guys should like, stop doing that because that is a form of bullying.

    [01:06:27;23]

    Rosina: (interview)
    You want them to feel like they're worthwhile. And how we treat each other is how determine if they think they are worthwhile or not.

    [01:06:35;22]

    Little boy: (classroom)
    Like if somebody's like playing on the playground or whatever, they won't include somebody else if they want to play.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    They won't include somebody? So how do you think that person feels who's not included?

    Little boy: (classroom)
    Like they feel, like, left out, kind of.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    So Raynette, if someone is left out on the yard, what could someone else do to not be a bystander?

    Raynette: (classroom)
    Tell them to come to their group and like hang out with them.

    [01:06:56;26]

    music

    Rosina: (classroom)
    So, watch the next skit, and see what the ally does.

    Rosina: (interview)
    The other skit was: Somebody being overtly mean to another student and picking on a student who often gets picked on.

    Girl student leader: (classroom)
    The setting - school library. Two kids sit at one table, one sits by himself. Watch this skit and think about who is being mean, who is making the situation worse, and who is making the situation better.

    [01:07:23;20]

    Kid: (classroom)
    Hey look who's coming. Its Adan. He's always here in the library reading comics because he has no friends. Come on, lets mess with him.

    Girl: (classroom)
    I don't know. Just leave me alone. I have work to do.

    Kid: (classroom)
    Why are you scared? Watch this.

    Raynette: (classroom)
    Paper ball hits person. Victim looks around, but can't tell who threw it.

    [01:07:42;21]

    Adan: (classroom)
    Why can't you leave me alone. Why can't you let me read "Ultimate X Men" by myself? I hate my life!

    Kid: (classroom)
    Here, you try. Hit him with this.

    Girl: (classroom)
    No. I don't want any part of this. Just let me study.

    Kid: (classroom)
    You're such a (?) watch this.

    Raynette: (classroom)
    He takes a pencil and throws it at the victim hitting him in the back. Shows frustration - goes back to books.

    [01:08:06;08]

    Kid: (classroom)
    Ha ha. That was funny right?

    Girl: (classroom)
    Man, just let it go. I'm busy.

    Kid: (classroom)
    Oh wait. I'm about to really mess with him.

    [01:08:11;28]

    Raynette: (classroom)
    He slaps the book out of Adan's hand.

    Girl: (classroom)
    What are you doing? I know you have better things to do than that. (Walks up to Adan.) Come on. Lets go sit somewhere else. I think we're working on the same homework anyway.

    (applause)

    [01:08:28;15]

    Raynette: (classroom)
    Besides saying "Come on. Lets go work on different homework" what other things do you think she could have done to make the situation better?

    Boy: (classroom)
    She could have, like, told probably D, if he, she... If he could stop doing that stuff.

    [01:08:43;28]

    Raynette: (interview)(titled "Raynette Shields, 8th Grade, Leadership Class")
    An ally is somebody who wants the victim to feel safe and has the courage to step up to a bully and say, "Hey. That's not cool what you're doing."

    Raynette: (classroom)
    Have you ever been in a situation like this? And if you were, how did you handle it?

    Female:(classroom)
    I have. When other people were like talking about this boy and saying that he needs some braces.

    Raynette: (classroom)
    What could you have done?

    [01:09:06;04]

    Female: (classroom)
    Well... I'm not going to lie. I was laughing because at that time it was funny to me. But now, like that was... Yeah. Now that was kind of like, rude. And like, I could have been like, you know, just leave him alone. Because it don't really matter.

    Raynette: (classroom)
    Thank you for being honest.

    [01:09:24;28]

    Raynette: (interview)
    I have been bullied. And... There was somebody who stepped in and was like, "Hey. That's not cool, and you shouldn't be doing that." And, after that, I felt that instead of me being the victim, I would stop it and say, that's not cool. Or, I would walk away, or go get help. Because, I don't, I didn't like the way that felt. I don't think anybody should feel like that.

    [01:09:48;20]

    Raynette: (classroom)
    Did you know that if someone intervenes in a bullying situation that 85% of the time the bullying stops?

    Rosina: (interview)
    The leadership class is the voice of the students. They're telling their peers what is the expected behavior.

    [01:10:02;04]

    Boy: (classroom)
    You'll probably stick up for the person.

    Rosina: (interview)
    ...so that the students change their beliefs a little bit and agree that it is important to stand up for someone.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    If someone is choosing to be mean or inappropriate, you could take a risk and be an ally and change someone's life for the better.

    [01:10:18;29]

    Rosina: (interview)
    Its hard to have a child move from being a passive watcher to being someone who'll intervene and stop it. But what I would like is: At least get help. And that's what it says in the ally pledge. If I don't feel comfortable intervening, I will get help.

    contract on screen:
    "If I can't stop the bullying by myself, I will tell an adult on campus."

    [01:10:39;02]

    Rosina: (classroom)
    I would like to tell you guys that was a phenomenal workshop. You had really good discussion. You all stayed focused.

    Rosina: (interview)
    We know that we're not going to get all of our students to stop bullying. The idea is that we sensitize our leadership kids. And if we have a dozen leadership kids, and each one is talking among their friend circles, it kind of infiltrates our school with our positive message.

    [01:11:02;03]

    *ring* music

    [01:11:07;06]
    Rosina: (interview)
    So when you talk about stopping bullying, its a team effort. Ultimately it is the adult responsibility. We're the ones who set the tone in the school and set the expectation. But if the kids don't talk to us, we don't know what's going on, so we can't intervene. And that's why its really important to have the students trained and encouraged to seek the advice of a counselor or another positive adult on campus. And, have faith that that person will listen to them and help them.

    [01:11:33;24]

    music

    [01:11:34;29]
    Rosina: (classroom)
    Here at this school, we don't call it tatle-taling, we call it getting help.

    Narration:
    Earlier that morning a student comes to the counseling office asking for help.

    [01:11:43;04]

    Niara: (classroom)
    Well, even though I try to ignore them, they like keep on coming back and they're making up this fake name for me.

    Rosina: (interview)
    Some girls were saying insulting things about her that they had no business saying. And then other kids were talking about it, which would make her feel even worse.

    [01:11:55;01]

    Niara: (classroom)
    They talked to my friend about it and um, she started making fun of me... But oh well.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    MMMmmmm. Probably not oh well. Because when she was making fun of you, how did you feel?

    Niara: (classroom)
    Sad, kind of.

    [01:12:07;07]

    Rosina: (interview)
    Middle school kids feel deeply when they're socially ostracized, or teased, or picked on. Actually, studies show that the biochemical reaction to social ostracization is the same as a biochemical reaction one of us might have if our life is being threatened.

    [01:12:25;13]

    Rosina: (classroom)
    When you get mad, what do you do to help yourself calm down?

    Rosina: (interview)
    That's why we take it seriously, because they're taking it so seriously.

    [01:12:31;26]

    Rosina: (classroom)
    If she bothers you, could you try and just take a deep breath first?

    Rosina: (interview)
    I've been working in middle schools for many, many years. And, I see how ugly things can get, how they can escalate. Which is why it’s so important to get those, the other 2 girls to agree to be an ally and stop it.

    [01:12:46;05]

    *music* (clock on wall)

    [01:12:55;01]

    Narration:
    During lunchtime, Rosina leads mediation with Niara, and 2 of the students involved in the morning's incident.

    [01:13:03;26]

    Rosina: (classroom)
    So, at Longfellow, what we do when there starts to be a conflict or a misunderstanding is we have what's called a mediation; which is when everyone gets together and then you talk about what's going on.

    [01:13:16;14]

    Rosina: (interview)
    The other thing about the counseling program is: we're not punitive. We don't do discipline. So, no one's here because they're in trouble.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    We actually really appreciate when kids do mediations because then you learn how other people are thinking and feeling.

    [01:13:27;28]

    Rosina: (interview)
    We're here to help the students understand how their behavior impacts other people.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    ...We use "I statements" only...

    Rosina: (interview)
    Empathy building.

    [01:13:35;17]

    Rosina: (classroom)
    If you were a 6th grade student and people were saying to other kids something negative about you, how would you feel?

    Other girl:
    I would have felt mad, angry... Yeah

    [01:13:48;08]

    Rosina: (classroom)
    So could you see how Niara would feel offended by what was going on/

    Other girl: (classroom)
    Yeah.

    Rosina: (interview)
    Each girl was able to say what their part in it was. And they did a really good job I thought - saying what they needed, saying what they felt, and coming up with a solution.

    [01:14:03;08]

    Rosina: (classroom)
    Is there anything, Jordan, that you think you could do to improve the situation?

    Jordan: (classroom)
    Maybe like tell people stop talking about, talking about her behind her back.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    And what's that called if you're doing that you're...

    Jordan: (classroom)
    Being an ally.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    Yes. Exactly. Are you willing to be her ally?

    [01:14:19;05]

    Other girl: (classroom)
    Yeah.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    And are you willing to also?

    Jordan: (classroom)
    Yep.

    [01:14:22;05]

    Rosina: (classroom)
    If they did that, how would you feel?

    Niara: (classroom)
    Better.

    [01:14:27;19]

    Rosina: (interview)
    Some things you can take care of right there on the spot. Make sure there's no hurt feelings left, that apologies have been made, and that we have a plan of action.

    [01:14:36;02]

    Rosina: (classroom)
    When we do mediation, we come to an agreement. So, the agreement we have is, Jordan...

    [01:14:41;05]

    Rosina: (interview)
    They agreed to be each other’s allies. And I truly believe that they will continue to confront others around them.

    Rosina: (classroom)
    ...And stop people from talking behind other people's back, right?

    Jordan: (classroom)
    Yes.

    [01:14:51;24]

    music

    Rosina: (interview)
    School is like the parental unit. We draw limits and boundaries. Which is why it’s so important to take care of it as fast as you can so that she can feel like the adults did listen to her and that we took action. And... that the girls are going to honor the agreement, and that I'm going to be checking in with them to make sure its being honored.

    [01:15:12;18]

    Rosina: (classroom)
    I would like to commend all 3 of you, because that's how you learn from each other and that's how you resolve problems. So, nice job.

    (round of applause)

    [01:15:22;19]

    Rosina: (interview)
    Now we have 2 kids who are going to go out and stop people from saying mean things about her and hopefully it creates a more contained and accepting environment for our students.

    *drums*

    Students: (classroom chant)
    Bullying is not the way! Allies are OK!

    [01:15:41;23]

    Rosina: (interview)
    The "Be-An-Ally" Month is only a piece of it. It needs to be the whole school climate. The school needs to create situations where every single student has somewhere where they feel connected to a positive adult and they feel accepted for who they are.

    (laughing, playing)

    [01:16:03;01]

    Raynette: (interview)
    We're trying to prevent bullying because we're trying to keep everybody safe. And we want everybody to feel like this is a school where you can come to school, have fun with your friends, and not worry about people bothering you.

    (playing, laughing)

    Raynette: (interview)
    It won't happen overnight. But, it will happen if we keep trying. Pretty sure..

    title:
    "Tch"
    "Teaching Channel"

    Credits etc.

School Details

Longfellow Arts And Technology Middle School
1500 Derby Street
Berkeley CA 94703
Population: 510

Data Provided By:

greatschools

Teachers

Rosina Keren

Newest

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Planning

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Engagement

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12 / ELA / Tch DIY

TCHERS' VOICE

Social Justice & Equity