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The Bully

Attention or Detention?


The Bully

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What is Bullying?

This child bullies others and can be quite a manipulator. He/she is frequently involved in name calling and likes to make fun of others. He/she will antagonize others, involves him/herself in fighting or instigating fights or arguments and belittling others. The bully is described as being 'insensitive' to others. He/she likes to solve problems by winning fights and arguments. Aggressive children often threaten others. Other students will fear the bully as he/she will be both verbally and physically aggressive. The bully loves power, is dominant and is usually guiltless. The bully tends to be lacking in empathy and compassion.


The bully is usually somebody who has also been bullied. There may be an issue at home (physical/mental abuse or neglect, or very poor role modeling). Remember, the bully doesn't usually suffer from self-esteem.


  • You need to sit with the bully in a one to one situation to find out where the behavior stems from. Ensure you have eye contact, engage the bully in conversation to find out what those deep roots are.(Family problems, lack of social skills, pshchiatric disorder)
  • Teach cooperative skills, teach anger management, teach empathy. Use drama (role playing) when you can.
  • The bully thinks it's ok to be abusive, you will need to teach otherwise.
  • You need a 'No Tolerance' policy and the bully has to be a part of the implementation of the policy. The bully needs to fully understand the no tolerance policy.
  • Consistent use of effective consequences. Over time, this method will reduce the amount of bullying.
  • The entire staff needs to be involved to curb this behavior - using the consistent consequences.
  • If you can build home/family connections, this too will assist in the consistency of approaches used and consequences implemented.
  • This child may need counseling and you may be instrumental in ensuring that this happens with a professional.
  • Bullies need to be taught to be accountable for their actions and state what they did, how it should have been handled and what they will do next time. Bullies also need to self-monitor.

Never forget that ALL children need to know you care about them and that they can contribute in a positive way. It took the child a long time to become a skilled bully, be consistent, patient and understand that change will take time.

The Top Four Strategies

  1. Students often don't know what appropriate behavior is - they need to be taught! Teach the appropriate interactions, responses, anger management - social skills. Use role play and drama.
  2. Expect/demand appropriate responsees by ensuring the bully apologizes directly to the victim.
  3. Have a zero tolerance classroom policy in place that is well understood.
  4. As much as possible, recognize and reward positive behavior.

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