For two weeks my middle school students have been learning about and engaging in heated discussions debates on all different controversial topics. For our first formal debate students will tackle bullying.
Bullying is an epidemic in many schools and with the documentary Bully, many schools are holding a mirror to their policies and procedures address bullying, bystanders, and victims and focusing on how to teach students to be upstanders and compassionate. The tragic events in South Hadley, Massachusetts and at Rutgers University in New Jersey that led to Phoebe Prince and Tyler Clementi taking their own lives (among the countless others) have only brought the issue of bullying to the forefront of education.
Why not have my students research and discuss the politics around bullying, figure possible solutions for schools and communities, and engage in intellectual conversations as cyber bullying seems to be on the rise. Below is the actual assignment and rubrics that will be used to evaluate my students’ debates and evidence files. If you are looking for resources or lesson ideas on bullying, The New York Time’s The Learning Network has great information for teachers and students.
This Thinglink gives my students a jump start finding information on bullying for their evidence files.