Around the world, leaders of various ages are creating programs and classes in their schools that work to end bullying, by practicing relaxation exercises and kindness. In Northwest Washington, at Lafayette Elementary school, young students engage in activities that help to decrease their stress and anger levels. Students are given instructions to relax and practice exercises, such as deep breathing and stretching combinations, similar to yoga movements. These relaxation exercises enable students to recognize any negative emotions that may build, and to focus on creating a calm and peaceful energy within themselves, instead of causing harm or displaying angry emotions.
Four years ago in Manassas, VA, Michael Cornwell from Thurgood Marshall Elementary, created a bullying prevention program called the Guardian Eagles. Various leaders, or Guardian Eagles, performed duties that taught children how to model positive behavior instead of negative behaviors. The leaders were known to mediate any small act of unkindness that was displayed among children. Through the courageous efforts of the Guardian Eagles, many students in the school were able to decrease their negative or unwanted behaviors, leading to a significant decrease in bullying.
Bullying can be prevented in a variety of ways. It only takes one leader or group of leaders working together to end bullying, for other children to realize that hurting others-whether physically or verbally- is wrong. Students like Michael, know how harmful bullying can be and recognize the behaviors early on that lead to it. It is important to regularly practice acts of kindness, relaxation exercises, create peace with others and work to end the bullying cycle!
Check our Resources page for additional bullying websites!