Anti-bullying Week 2011 is running from 14th – 18th November, with the slogan ‘Stop and Think – Words Can Hurt’ this year’s campaign is focused on tackling verbal bullying. This year’s theme aims to:
- Challenge the casual use of derogatory language in schools, colleges and communities;
- Raise awareness of the consequences of using demeaning and harassing language through technology;
- Encourage schools, colleges and other settings to create language charters that makes it clear what is and isn’t acceptable;
- Give children and young people the tools to challenge others when they use derogatory language, to find new ways of expressing how they feel if they are angry or upset, and to make a conscious effort to speak positively and to compliment others;
- Encourage adults to consider how they model the use of language with children and young people (this includes all practitioners working with children and young people but also celebrities and people in positions of power).
Ahimsa, or non-violence, is one of the five ethical principles (or yama) of yoga. Ahimsa is the foundation upon which all of yogic life is based and honours all life, however great or small. Ahimsa asks us to consider the consequences of our actions, both upon ourselves as well as the world around us to be mindful of how we speak and behave towards others.
Here are some ideas you can try out at home and in the classroom:
- ‘Thought for the day’ at home, in class and at assemblies;
- Making a ‘kindness’ chain with interlocking strips of paper each of which has on it a kind deed. This could instead be a ‘wall of kindness’ made with cut-out paper bricks;
- ‘Trash Trash Talk’ – unpleasant names are written on individual slips of paper and put into a rubbish bag;
- Discussion around ‘Sticks and stones…..but names will break our spirit’;
- Play co-operative games;
- Hold a compliments day;
- Have a ‘Secret Pals’ day. Students anonymously give compliments and carry out kind deeds for their secret pal;
- Discuss what to do if you see someone else being bullied verbally.