Anti-bullying multi-media school assemblies are a way to create a buzz in your school about bullying prevention. Children want to go to school and feel safe. They want to believe they are cared about by the school and that teachers and principals will help them out if they need support. Through a school assembly, a strong message can be conveyed to children that school safety is a top priority.
Many children have fear that they will be picked on or bullied. The result is that students can be tense and worried during class and not learn as well as could be expected. Children must be relaxed and happy to perform at their optimum.
In order for children to feel safe and protected from bullying, teachers can play a major role.
How can we truly change the climate in our school? Can we actually re-form opinions that students and staff possess? Is there a way we can change a negative or mean-spirited school climate into one where cooperation, kindness and consideration abound? Can respect activities actually make a positive difference?
Many Respect Activities at St. Sofia School
The short answer is yes; these kinds of changes can be made. In fact there are schools in our own jurisdictions that prove this fact. Attempting to define the actual system or step by step list of procedures to achieve these goals could be a challenge, but it is safe to say that some basic respect activities can go a long way toward making a difference. Here are some tips to get started.
First of all we must define what we are actually trying to achieve. Many people would agree that we are trying to achieve a climate of respect within the walls of the school. In my opinion respect must start from the top and sift its way down. If the administration, including all the teachers, all support staff and even custodial staff live respect in their day-to-day work at the school, then others will begin to take notice. By others I mean students and even any parents that may be in the school. Many teachers use model respect to their students daily and many teachers use specific respect activities in their classrooms in their day-to-day teaching and have done it for years.
If your older students in the school show respect to each other, younger students will definitely begin to take notice. As younger kids began to learn from their older role models, they will begin to see respect as the norm. Situations and incidences which do not show respect will begin to be seen as highly unusual and unacceptable. All of these steps, of course, take time to initiate. In some schools it may take months, others may take years, while still others could possibly take decades in order to make these kinds of profound changes.
There are a number of tools which can help speed up this change so the transition can begin to take place sooner. The following activities will help to grow respect and to compound the effects:
1/ Form a student group which focuses completely on posters, announcement reminders, and other methods of awareness to help remind students and staff about the goal of achieving respect.
2/ Run special spirit days throughout the year which will help you get people on board in a fun way. Examples are: pink shirt stand up for respect day, be kind to someone day, pass on a smile day or respect activities workshop day.
3/ Special assemblies can also be a great way to help lift the spirits of the student body, and get everyone working in the same direction.
The above ideas for respect activities are only starters, but once you begin, I believe you will be moving toward a most worthwhile destination — achieving a climate of true respect in your school.
St. Ann Catholic School in Ancaster Ontario was the location of our ‘Stand up For Respect’ programs yesterday. The students were excited and it showed! (St. Ann School looks incredible with it’s regal white columns as you can see in the photo).
Unbelievable enthusiasm filled the gymnasium. Children at St. Ann Catholic School definitely understand the meaning of the word ‘respect’. They showed respect from the moment they walked into the gym. Principal Mr. Mike Goffredo is obviously very proud of his students. Mr. Goffredo runs a tight ship and it was clear his students have great respect for their principal.
Children came into the gym to practice role-plays for the assembly. Several students told me how happy they were to attend a school where there is almost no bullying at all. Other children remarked about how safe they feel every day within the walls of St. Ann Catholic school. What a great testament to the administration, teachers and other staff. Parents of St. Ann children must feel thrilled to send their students to such a great school.
The children were dressed for Earth Day, so the audience was a sea of green. Participation in their schoolwide spirit day was obviously high. If the students show as much respect for each other as they do for the Earth, it must be one of the most respectable schools around.
During the ‘Stand Up For Respect’ assembly the children learned some strategies to use in order to maintain their level of respect. We watched a video which outlined some of the following respect tips:
Use friendly language
The assembly featured ATFM radio with DJ Benny DL at the controls. He sang songs, played commercials, and talked about treating each other in a fair and decent manner. Children laughed at the humor in Benny DL’s Rockethead video. It featured a rocket blasting around the world. It also outlined all kinds of ways to show respect to each other.
More advanced strategies were presented in the grade 6 to 8 assembly which followed the break. Students acted out role-plays, watched videos and discussed pertinent issues. After the assemblies ended students went home and encouraged their parents to come back at 6:30 PM to learn even more about bullying, cyber bullying and relationships. The parent session was funded by a subsidy made possible by the government of Ontario through a PRO grant. The assembly was well attended, with more than 20 families from St. Ann being represented. Every family in attendance received a free CD containing 14 sample songs on the topics of respect and bullying. Students acted out skits and performed for their parents. We want to thank Mr. Goffredo along with teachers students and parents from St. Ann school. What a great day!
The bullying prevention advice we learned at Cardinal Newman is: Be yourself, let your energy spill out. Celebrate life, be kind and fill your life with respect.
You see, the students at Cardinal Newman live the advice you read above. They are filled with energy, they celebrate day-to-day life and they understand the concept of respect.
We will remember the Cardinal Newman spirit and energy we experienced today for a very long time.
It is our hope that the students of Cardinal Newman will remember the bullying prevention strategies we taught today for as long as we remember their energy.
Daytime presentations were ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ and ‘Stand Up For Respect’. The evening parent student bullying prevention presentation was called ‘Stand Up – Keep Your Kids’. Seventy one families attended and enjoyed outstanding pre-show entertainment by the Cardinal Newman Iron Joan group mentored by students from the Sheridan College Police Foundations program. We were dazzled by the confidence shown by the Iron Joan team. The Sheridan College Police Foundations students who mentored the children at Cardinal Newman were extremely proud of the confidence and skill exhibited by their students.
Cardinal Newman student council also did an amazing anti-bullying presentation. This anti-bullying parent/student program presented by Bruce Langford was made possible by the Ontario Government’s Parent Reaching Out Grant (PRO) available to school parent groups across Ontario.
To conquer bullying, let’s strive for less conflict in the world. How to do that … self-forgiveness. (Read on to learn how we can calm the bullying epidemic by learning the concept of self-forgiveness).
When you are comfortable with both your strengths and weaknesses, you radiate simple, unaffected humanity. Self acceptance, total self acceptance, means self-forgiveness. When you forgive yourself and stop judging yourself, then you won’t judge others, and there will be less conflict in the world.
Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate and speaker/presenter. www.brucelangford.ca telephone: 905-233-2102
This song I wrote about confidence can get in your brain like a jingle you can’t forget. It will help you develop confidence because it has real advice which can work for anyone. Remember, you can be your own best coach. Encourage yourself and remind yourself you are doing fine. Listen to your own positive, upbeat encouraging words about how you are doing. Trust in yourself, focus on what you CAN do and LISTEN to you!
Confidence Song – Copyright 2004 Bruce Langford
1. Confidence, confidence,
no matter how bad it gets confidence.
Determination – it can get you through.
Absolute belief in what you do.
Certainty and trust can do it for you.
Hang in, trust in yourself.
2. Confidence, confidence,
no matter how bad it gets confidence
Give yourself credit for what you do
Don’t be so concerned about win & lose
A new experience is another chance for you
Focus on what you CAN do!
3. Confidence, confidence,
no matter how bad it gets
Don’t expect perfection in all you do
Remind yourself your best is awesome for you
Tell yourself you’re doing fine, you’ll get through
Listen, listen to you!
Bruce Langford is an experienced teacher and presenter of school programs on bullying, respect and confidence. Book him for your school – Stand Up Now Productions www.brucelangford.ca or 1-800-901-8831
Listen to the Confidence Song here:
‘Be The Change’ is the ongoing slogan that St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School in Elmira lives by. Be The Change has a deep meaning to the students at St. Teresa. Every person knows they have a responsibility to look out for others and to take the initiative to speak up if something needs to be said. They know that it only takes one person to make a difference and that one person is you.
Principal, Sherry Peeples is determined to make a difference at St. Teresa. She is behind the theme of the year which is ‘Let Your Light Shine’. It ties right in with the ongoing theme of ‘Be The Change’, and puts the focus on each student to step out and be positive with one another. Students understand they can encourage others by interacting with kindness as described in the bible.
Ms. Peeples has been encouraging the students at St. Teresa for three years and has definitely made a positive difference. She believes that guest presentations can make an impact on the school climate. Following our ‘Stand Up For Respect’ assembly, she commented:
“Wow – fantastic show! I really enjoyed the creativity involved with the presentation of the Stand Up Now assembly. Bruce intertwined student engagement, student interaction, music, and the message of our faith and Respect in a way that the students will remember for a long time to come! Entertaining and meaningful!” Sherry Peeples, Principal St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School, Elmira Ontario
That word is the one many students identified with in today’s grade 6, 7, & 8 school presentation in Windsor called ‘Stand Up For Respect’.
The Crusaders believe in confidence to help eliminate bullying
“No matter how bad it gets – confidence.”
If only we could instil this belief in everyone. Don’t we all lack confidence at some point? Don’t we all feel defeated or discouraged at one time or another?
I believe the answer is yes. If this is true, then we can do things to encourage others when they are lacking confidence.
“Determination – it will get you through.
Absolute belief in all you do.
Certainty and trust can do it for you.
Hang in – trust in yourself.”
Use the above words to be inspired. Remember that having true determination really can get you through the tough times. How do you have absolute belief in all you do? Start by mapping out a plan for your life. Set goals. Not vague or general goals, but real and specific goals that are measurable.
Rather than deciding you want to have more money, decide how much money you want to have by a certain date. Then do what you can to go about meeting that goal. Remember that goals don’t need to be about money or material wealth.
Here’s a tip. Don’t set your goal too low. Your goal can be practically anything that is even remotely reasonable. You may think it sounds nearly impossible, but the more you think about it, the more possible it will become.
Thousands of people have set goals and accomplished them. Using your own confidence, you too can achieve a similar kind of success.
“Don’t expect perfection in all you.
Remind yourself your best is awesome for you.
Tell yourself you’re doing fine, you’ll get through
Listen, listen to YOU.”
We visited Pope John Paul II Catholic School to present three ‘Stand Up For Respect’ assemblies. We were inspired by the students and staff we met at the school.
A grade 8 student at PJP II shared the following story with us during our visit:
A younger child, who was a student at another school, expressed some frustration he was having with another child. The grade 8 PJP II student offered advice and acted as a positive role model to help the younger student learn how to improve his situation.
This is an excellent example of an older student using his wisdom and compassion to help a young child. Wisdom and compassion are two of the virtues taught at Pope John Paul 2nd School.
We can all work at being positive role models. Set good examples. Share your knowledge and advice. Use compassion and wisdom just as the student at JPJ II did.
The virtues celebrated at Pope John Paul II Catholic School in Richmond Hill are:
Pope John Paul II School Virtues
The shared vision of the York Catholic DSB is: ‘We are a Catholic Learning Community of collaborative partners, called to serve one another by being committed to and accountable for quality learning by all, with Jesus as our inspiration’
Pope John Paul II Catholic Elementary School, Richmond Hill Ontario
We experienced students and staff who showed they are committed to and accountable for quality learning at Pope John Paul II Catholic School.
For more information about the ‘Stand Up For Respect’ assemblies presented by Bruce Langford, visit www.standupnow.ca or call 1-800-901-8831.
Empathy, conscience, hope, respect, acceptance, kindness, self-control and fairness are all virtues honoured at St. Andrew Catholic School in Orangeville Ontario. We presented our ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ assemblies at the school yesterday and were wowed by the amazing reception from students, staff and administration. It was our second visit, after presenting ‘Cyberbullying – Got 2 Go’ during our last visit hosted by Mr. Gregory Krar.
This time, the students were just as respectful and showed even more excitement, since most of them
Mrs. Hageman's Display Case
remembered us from our last visit. We put a lot of effort into the rehearsal of the role-plays with pre-selected students from St. Andrew. The volunteer students who did the acting were just excellent at their parts and really made a strong statement with the audiences.
Mrs. Hageman is the teacher-librarian at the school. She arranged all the details of our visit
The Stand Up Against Bullying Vow
and was a very gracious hostess representing St. Andrew. She watched all three assemblies and was most appreciative of what she saw.
Principal, Mrs. Cindy Young, described the assemblies with great enthusiasm: “Each assembly was right on the mark! You hit on all the important aspects of what we want our St. Andrew students to live by. I really liked how you changed your assemblies for each age group!”
St. Andrew Banner
(Mrs. Cindy Young, Principal at St. Andrew Catholic School)
This school has left a very powerful impression! The students were genuine in their appreciation of the topic. They want to be positive role models and do their part to reduce bullying. The staff was supportive and on board with the topic. We will remember our day at St. Andrew Catholic School in Orangeville (Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board DPCDSB) for a long time!