Eagle Hill School looks at bullying and its causes

At Eagle Hill School, it’s said that the “respect” theme is prevalent wherever you go.

Posters showcase the meaning of the theme while teachers integrate respect and self-esteem into the curriculum as often as possible.

In Mr. Mayo’s Upper School health class, the students have been exploring one critical way in which a lack of self-esteem can affect student interaction — bullying.

However, rather than simply talk to the students about this issue, Mr. Mayo explored the many ways that bullying can surface and how it can be alleviated at a school through videos, group discussions, and then a personal project.

“One part that seemed to ring a bell with all of the students was when we talked about who else is affected when bullying occurs,” Mr. Mayo said. “They hadn’t really thought about the others that could be affected, such as the parents or siblings of the person being bullied.”

Each student in his class was asked to produce a storyboard that explained a specific aspect of bullying, such as: Who’s the target?, innocent bystanders, Who’s a bully?, bully-free zones and how to establish them and how to handle bullies. One particularly interesting topic was Liam’s project board on “Are you a bully?,” in which he explored questions anyone can ask themselves as to whether they are, indeed, manifesting bully-like symptoms.

While anyone of any age can be or become a bully, reaching these young people at this age is especially important to Mr. Mayo.

“I wanted them to take this information that they have learned and hopefully use it in situations they might encounter in the future,” he said. “This is something that happens every day in schools all over the world.”

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