2015 BULLYING PREVENTION CLASSES BY MARA GIGLIO

I am really happy to be back at Trimble Middle School with their Kid’s on Campus after-school program. Many of the students’ parents tell them that if they are hit, they should hit back. The Principals I’ve talked to say that this would open the door to a free-for-all as well as it being difficult to figure out who is the aggressor and who is defending themselves (these lines blur of course). We say that there are school rules and home rules and focus on what to do in a school setting. We’ve been talking a lot about self-defense: blocking punches, yelling, running, being where teachers can see you as much as possible and having allies that will deter bullying and support you if you do get bullied. I told a principal from a rural school district about teaching some self-defense and she got excited and said that parents might like to attend these classes with their kids since they would see it as “not being wimpy”.

During another lesson, I was talking about having a really big tool belt of things that we can do when we are stressed, and a student chimed in, “We should have tool belts as big as the equator!” I learn so much from working with youth; they are bright, inquisitive truth seekers, and if we can give them outlets (as big as the equator) for their passions and support in being who they want to be, they will thrive! Let’s continue to invest in places like Trimble & Glouster…because the people there are full of amazing potential!

I also get to teach 11 classes with the Redbud Home School Cooperative. I am working with ages 6-9 and am focusing on developing friendship skills, mixing students up and doing various buddy activities, dealing with negative emotions, learning calming down techniques, and talking about “gender norms” and existing outside of these norms/boxes. It’s a really fun group to work with!

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