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Hey, Back Off! Tips for Stopping Teen Harassment

Subject:

Other  

Grades:

9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Hey, Back Off! Tips for Stopping Teen Harassment
By – Jennie Withers
Grade Level     9-12

Resource – Hey, Back Off! Tips for Stopping Teen Harassment        
available at Amazon.com and at Barnes and Noble stores
(optional, but will greatly reduce your research time)

Duration: 5-7 50 minute class periods (depends on amount of
discussion)

Day 1:

Objective:   Students will know the types of harassment,
bullying, sexual harassment, stalking, hazing and cyberbullying, and realize
when they have been the victim as well as when they have been the bully. 
(Teen Section 1 – Hey, Back Off!)

Materials:  What is
Harassment? PowerPoint Presentation

Procedure:

Before the PowerPoint presentation, have students draw a line down the middle of a piece of notebook paper. One side should be labeled, ‘Felt It’, and the other side, ‘Did It.’  *Make sure students know they will not be turning this in.

This is a self-analysis exercise. Present the PowerPoint and have students write what has been done to them and what they have done to others on their piece of paper.If students are willing, discuss what theylearned from the presentation because many teens don’t realize that what theyare doing or experiencing is harassment, and they have a hard time with theconcept that harassment is determined by the victim.

Day 2:

Objective:  Students will know the harassment policy in
their school district as well as the state laws in place to protect them
against harassment. 
(Teen Section 2
- Hey, Back Off!)

Materials:  A quiz about their opinion of how harassment in handled in their school (it should be a quiz that is quickly measured, there is one you can use in Hey, Back Off!), a copy of your school district harassment policy or the student handbook, an understanding of your state laws regarding harassment, an understanding of the legal definitions of severe, persistent and pervasive harassment.

Optional: A copy of The Rights of Personhood as outlined in The Constitution of the
United States, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of The Education Amendments,
and Americans with Disabilities Act.

Procedure:Give students the quiz on their opinion of how harassment is handled in the school and quickly tally the results.  Quiz answers should be anonymous.

Optional: Discussing where harassment laws come from and why harassment is a violation of personal rights. Present the definitions of severe, persistent and pervasive.  Students should understand this is not only when harassment is against the law, it is also when harassment should be reported to an adult. Discuss the school district policy in place in the district (students usually get a watered down version in their handbook, so with older students you may want to use the actual district policy).  Discuss consequences not only within the school, but through the law as well. Make sure students know they need to reportharassment to an adult when it is severe, persistent and pervasive.If time, discuss as a class the consequences of harassing others.

Day 3:

Objective:  Students will know what it means to be a passive personality (the victim) and an aggressive personality (the bully).  (Teen Sections 3 and 4 of Hey, Back Off!)

Materials:  However you wish to present this information is up to you.  There is a quiz available in Hey, Back Off! to give to students to help them determine whether they are a passive, aggressive or assertive personality.

Procedure: The passive personalities are those who are targets for bullies. Let others make decisions for them. Believe their thoughts and feelings don’t count. Put themselves last. Fear the loss of approval. Are sometimes loners, sometimes followers. Hate conflict. Fear responsibility.

The aggressive personalities are those who are the abusers, harassers and bullies of the world.Are loud, abusive, sarcastic, bossy and gossipNeed to win and see life as a competition. Need to control others. Their own needs come first. Don’t know what respect is (believe fear = respect). Fear appearing weak or losing control. They are egotistical. They are angry. Do not know how to be responsible.

Discuss these two personalities as class – set boundaries with the class. They cannot use names or situations everyone would know.  The purpose of this is to educate, not to make anyone feel badly or to propagate bullying in your classroom.

Optional:  a personal writing exercise about their own personalities and situations where they are passive and/or aggressive.

 Day 4:

Objective:  Students will know what it means to be an
assertive personality, why an assertive person is not the bully or the target
of a harasser, and how passive and aggressive personalities can become
assertive.

Materials:  SMART goal templates, however you would like to present this information

Procedure: Assertive personalities are those who are not harassers, nor are they victims. Act in their own best interest without hurting others.Know their rights and stand up for themselves. Proactive. Honest in their expression. Give and get respect. Have self-confidence and self-respect. Have healthy relationships. Have a sense of belonging. Experience less anxiety and stress.

Becoming assertive if you are passive or aggressive — Admit you are passive or aggressive. Set SMART goals – start small, don’t try to do it all at once. The way you look — Eye contact – have some, but don’t stare. Tone of voice – speak normally, don’t whisper, don’t yell or speak in a steely voice. Posture – not trying to disappear or appear big and tough.

Goals for passive personalities – Make a decision. Express a thought or a feeling – use ‘I’ statements. Put yourself first.

Goals for aggressive personalities — Make an attitude adjustment. Realize fear is not respect and you have to earn respect. Be proactive – think about consequences. Take responsibility – stop playing the blame game. Manage your anger.

Maintaining an assertive personality — Deal with stress. Deal with anger. Check your attitude. Keep friends and family close – maintain relationships. Remember others are watching. Fall in love with the win-win feeling of assertiveness.

Day 5:

Objective:  Students will know what to say and do in
order to deal with harassers participating in a variety of harassing
behaviors. 
(Teen Section 7, Hey, Back Off!)

Materials:  Either lecture, create a PowerPoint or create a handout of the information.

 Bullying

What to Say:

I want you to stop…

I don’t like it when…

I feel like you’re trying to get a reaction out of me.

I don’t understand why…

I’m going to get help.

What to Do:

Be assertive—remain calm, but be direct.

Walk away (calmly, assertively).

Tell the bully how s/he makes you feel and what you want him or her to do.

Have a safety plan in place.

Report severe, persistent or pervasive bullying behavior.

Sexual Harassment

What to Say:

I want you to stop…

I feel very uncomfortable when you…

I am offended when you…

I don’t think that’s funny because…

I’m going to get help.

What to Do:

Be assertive—remain calm, but be direct.

Walk away (calmly, assertively).

Tell the harasser what you want him or her to stop doing and why.

Have a safety plan in place.

Report severe, persistent or pervasive sexual harassment incidents.

Stalking

What to Say:

II feel like you’re following me.

I see or hear from you too often.

I feel uncomfortable when you say or write…

I think you pay too much attention to me and it makes me uncomfortable.

I’m going to get help.

What to Do:

Be assertive—remain calm, but be direct.

Report the harasser’s actions.

Make sure your safety plan is in place.

Change your phone number, get a new e-mail address, block the stalker from your online social networks.

Change your routines where you can.

Involve law enforcement.

Hazing

What to Say:

What are the requirements for membership?

Is there an initiation? What does it include?

What is the purpose of the initiation? What will it prove about me as a potential member?

I want to join an organization that doesn’t require hazing.

What to Do:

Be assertive—remain calm but be direct.

Have the courage to stand up for your right to have dignity.

Report hazing or planned hazing to school officials.

Cyberbullying

What to Say:

Nothing, unless you can say it in person.

What to Say, Face-to-Face with an Adult Present:

I want you to stop…

I don’t like it when…

I feel like you’re trying to get a reaction out of me.

What to Do:

Be assertive—remain calm but be direct.

Report the incidents of harassment.

Make sure your safety plan is in place.

Change your phone number, get a new e-mail address, block the stalker from your online social networks.

Do Not:

Do not post or send anything that you don’t want others to see.

Do not forward anything that could be offensive to or hurt another person.

Assessment:

I have never written a final test, assigned a paper or really anything else for a grade for this unit.  What I do expect, however, is that the bullying issue becomes better in my classroom and my school.  This is done in several ways:  students can no longer plead ignorance,  students are reporting severe, persistent and pervasive incidents of harassment, students are no longer bystanders, students see the value in becoming assertive and are doing so.  If the harassment epidemic is going to get better, it has to start with the students themselves.

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Resources:

PowerPoint for Harassment Definitions  [DOWNLOAD], SMART goal setting worksheet  [DOWNLOAD]