National health standards and elements

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Lesson 6: Violence

Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.

Standard 2: Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.

Standard 3: Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid information, products, and services to enhance health.

Standard 4: Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.

Standard 5: Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health.

Standard 6: Students will demonstrate the ability to use goal-setting skills to enhance health.

Standard 7: Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.

Standard 8: Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.

  • Students will acquire the knowledge and ability necessary to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment.


  • To be able to make an informed decision and be aware of the consequences of that decision.


  • Students will be able to identify types of bullying, the impact of bullying on teens, and strategies for the prevention of bullying and interventions.



Aggression Bullying Coercion Control

Hazing Manipulation Violence

  • Students will build health skills and knowledge in the area of violence awareness.


  • How can individuals identify potentially violent situations and contribute to ending the cycle of violence?

  • What knowledge, skills and strategies can I use to effectively resolve conflicts and mediate disputes?


  • Write a paraphrased version of the definition of bullying.

  • Do you think bullying occurs in workplaces? If so, what does it look like?


Ground Rules

Publicly sharing opinions can make students feel vulnerable. Before you begin the activity, set the following ground rules to ensure that students and others are not ridiculed, embarrassed or degraded for their opinion. This may be redundant if your class already has ground rules such as these:

Listen to each other

No put downs or name calling

Questions are welcomed

Respect each other


Open discussion by asking how the class would define bullying.

Take several definitions and offer this definition as a summary of the discussion.

Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior that is intentional, threatening, hurtful (physical and/or

psychological) and persistent (repeated). There is an imbalance of strength (power).

Exposing another person to either verbal or physical harm, or threatening to harm another person with the purpose of controlling the other person’s thoughts and/or actions.

We are discussing bullying because it happens and is harmful. Note the following:

  • Bullying is likely associated with school violence

  • Many people remember bullying or being bullied even through adulthood

  • Most students report being bullied during their school career.

Write on the board, chart paper or electronic whiteboard the question “What does bullying

look like?” Allow room to make three columns, one for each of the following headings: (1)

Physical, (2) Verbal, (3) Social or Relational and (4) Other.

What Does Bullying Look Like?

Physical Bullying

· Hitting, slapping, elbowing, shouldering (slamming)

· Pushing/shoving

· Stealing, damaging or defacing personal property

· Stepping on heels

· Cramming someone into her locker

· ___________________________________________________________

· _____________________________________________________________________

Verbal Bullying

· Name calling

· Insulting remarks and putdowns

· Repeated teasing

· Threats and intimidation

· ___________________________________________________________

· ___________________________________________________________

Social and Relational Bullying

· Destroying and manipulating relationships

· Embarrassment and humiliation

· Negative body language (facial expressions, turning your back to someone)

· Threatening gestures

· Hurtful graffiti

· Mean and nasty notes passed around or sent to someone

· Hate petitions (signatures of those promising to hate someone)

· ___________________________________________________________

· ___________________________________________________________

Other Bullying Behaviors

· Cyber bullying (i.e., text messages, posting hurtful things on the web, etc.)

· ___________________________________________________________
Some are bullied for specific reasons: A government sponsored survey reported that four percent of respondents said that hate related words were directed at them that concerned their race, about 3 percent each reported that insults related to their ethnicity or gender, and between 1 and 2 percent each reported that the insults were related to their religion, disability, or sexual orientation. We will learn however, that bullies can be from any group and those bullied can be from any group.2

– Bullying decreases the sense of safety needed to really get a good education – you can’t learn when you are afraid for your safety.

– Go over your school policy concerning harassment and any relevant state laws that apply to your school ( is a good reference for this information).
· Tell the class that bullying seems to be about controlling others. As such, bullying can take place anywhere, school, work, recreation, etc.
· Ask the class why they think bullies bully. Summarize with the following points:

– They may have been bullied themselves. These are generally angry children who are easily spotted. They’ve been hurt and they feel a sense of relief and power from hurting others.

– Lowering others makes them feel elevated or somehow better about themselves. These children may feel insignificant for a host of reasons and find a sense of significance via controlling others.

– Group think. Some kids who would never bully outside of a group get caught up in the sense of significance associated with being in the majority. Some are afraid they will be hurt themselves if they do not side with the group.

Whatever the emotional or social reasons, bullies bully because they can. Many bullies actually have good self esteem as measured by tests but their bullying is related to the power they feel from manipulating others. Bullies sometimes use status differences (bigger, from a certain social group, etc.) they may have to derive a sense of power over others. The status characteristics are not the causes of the bullying but a means to an end.

Just like the victims; bullies can be anyone from any social grouping.

Ask students to give examples of bullying – Use Teacher Resource 1 as an aid to summarize the lists made via small groups or classroom discussion. Enlist examples from films such as Napolean Dynomite, Back to the Future and Mean Girls. With adequate time, clips of these or other films could be shown as illustrations of various types of manipulation, both overt and subtle.

· Ask the class, what can people who are bullied do about it? What should they do?

Encourage discussion. Do the students think that bullying is a problem in school?

Summarize with by suggesting that objects of bullying can:

– Name the problem and legitimize yourself - Be honest with yourself and others. Whether it is bullying, psychological harassment, or emotional abuse, seek information and support from others.

– Expose the bully - In order to prevent bullying from continuing, bullies should be recognized for who they are. It is important to avoid retaliation for the wrong that was done, or the cycle of bullying will continue.

  • Ask the class what should bystanders do?

  • Do the students think that bullying is a problem in school?

  • Do you speak to people you don't know? Do you try to meet new friends?

  • When you know a little bit about someone, does it change your view about that person? Why? Is it easy to make new friends?

Note that challenging bullying may be a marathon and not a sprint.

Teach others how to treat you. We all deserve to be treated well. We teach others how

to treat us by our reactions to them. If bullies insult someone who doesn't care what they

think, they've wasted their time.

Keep a record of events. It can help to express your feelings by writing them down, and

if things get too bad, showing someone the diary is a good way to help someone

understand what you are going through. It can also be good evidence if ever needed to

support your case.

Talk to someone. As well as asking for help, just sharing your feelings and knowing that

you are not alone is very important. Ideally, this should be a trusted friend you feel

comfortable with. If you don't have any friends you feel you can trust, go to an adult in a

position of responsibility such as a parent, teacher, spiritual leader or school counselor.

Ask for help, and keeping asking until you get it. If you are being bullied at school, tell

a teacher, counselor, school nurse or administrator. You could also get your parents to

write to them. Educators have a legal responsibility to look after you while you are at

school, and all schools should have an anti-bullying policy. This isn't just for your own

sake. It's very rare that a bully only has one victim, and by demanding that the people in

charge deal with the situation, you may be able to save others from going through what

you've had to suffer. You can even call the media or a lawyer if all else fails.

Leave. If the school won't stop you being bullied, ask about changing schools. It doesn't

mean that the bullies have won. Getting away from them and from schools which tolerate

their bad behavior makes you the winner.

Treat others the way you want to be treated. Model for all how relationships should go.

Being the victim of a bully is rarely, if ever, something that you can control, but you can

control your own responses to others.


Hazing” refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate.  In years past, hazing practices were typically considered harmless pranks or comical antics associated with young men in college fraternities. 

Today we know that hazing extends far beyond college fraternities and is experienced by boys/men and girls/women in school groups, university organizations, athletic teams, the military, and other social and professional organizations. Hazing is a complex social problem that is shaped by power dynamics operating in a group and/or organization and within a particular cultural context. 

Hazing activities are generally considered to be:  physically abusive, hazardous, and/or sexually violating.  The specific behaviors or activities within these categories vary widely among participants, groups and settings.  While alcohol use is common in many types of hazing, other examples of typical hazing practices include: personal servitude; sleep deprivation and restrictions on personal hygiene; yelling, swearing and insulting new members/rookies; being forced to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire in public; consumption of vile substances or smearing of such on one's skin; brandings; physical beatings; binge drinking and drinking games; sexual simulation and sexual assault.

Some common definitions and examples


Bullying on Television

Name of the TV show you watched: ___________________________________________________

Describe the bullying you observed: ________________________________________________



How did the bullying affect the person being bullied? __________________________________



What, if anything, did the person who was bullied do about the bullying? ___________________


What, if anything, happened to the person who bullied? _________________________________



What did the scene teach you about bullying? _________________________________________




  • The ABCs of Bullying: Addressing, Blocking, and Curbing School Aggression.

  • Bully Police –

  • Respect and the Facts –

  • U.S. Department of Education. (1998). Preventing bullying: A manual for schools and

communities. (Publication No. EQ0118B) Washington, DC: Author.

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Mental Health Services.

(2003). Bullying is not a fact of life. (CMHS-SVP-0052) Washington, DC: Author.

Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute -

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