Bully Vaccine Toolkit Lesson 5 – Developing an Action Plan

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series The Bully Vaccine Toolkit

Lesson 5 – Developing an Action Plan

angerhairNow that you know when you are bullied, and have some idea of what motivates your bully to bully, you need to come up with a plan of action. What are you going to do when (not if) this happens again.

Each recurring bullying situation will require its own Action Plan Worksheet.

This lesson includes an action plan worksheet, detailed instructions and a video lesson.

Download the action plan worksheet – each specific bullying problem will require it’s own worksheet.

View the plan of action video

Filling out the action plan worksheet

First, list the specific bullying situation you are creating a plan for and note what type of situation it is. You also should note when and where this particular bullying situation tends to occur.

Can you avoid this situation entirely? If so, how will you avoid it? If the bullying is taking place on the bus, can you have your parents drive you to school? If it is happening in a hallway, can you take a different route? If it is happening on the playground, can you make sure a teacher or other adult is assigned to monitor you to keep you safe?

Because you can’t always avoid the bullies, you will also want to come up with a phrase you can say in this situation that will not reinforce the bully. You want to let the bully know that a) you aren’t bothered by their behavior and b) that you aren’t going to tolerate their behavior either. This needs to be something you can say in a bored and matter of fact manner while looking the bully straight in the eye.

For instance, if you are being teased, what is your retort? Don’t be mean, don’t be angry, just think of what you can say that will let the bully know you don’t care that they just said something mean. My favorite is “Thank you very much for that information, it’s very helpful.”

If you are being threatened with violence, what can you say that will let the bully know that if they carry through with their threat, you will report them? Again, don’t be mean, you want a calm and relaxed thing to say as if what is happening is no big deal. For instance, “If you do that I’m going to report you” is straightforward and something that can be said in a completely deadpan voice.

If you are being told that you aren’t allowed to sit somewhere or play somewhere on the playground, your retort might be, I’m doing it anyway, again, in a deadpan calm tone of voice.

If you are being physically assaulted you will need to extract yourself and report the incident immediately.

Who can help you?

Another thing you will want to consider is who might be willing to help you. Are there kids who will help stand by you and help you face down the bullies? Are their teachers or aids or janitors or lunch ladies who are available and around during these incidents. If so, you will want to enlist them to help you.

If you do have people willing to help, what is it that they can do to help you? Often, all it takes is for one bystander to be willing to say to the bully, “stop or I will report you.”  If you are being physically battered, you will need someone whose job it is to run and get an adult as soon as a situation starts.

Who to report it to

You will also need to decide who the best person is you should report this incident to at the school. Is it your teacher, the principal, the lunch lady, the bus driver? Who exactly will you report this to? You need to report every incident so you need to know exactly who you are going to go to.

What will your parents do?

Finally, we need to discuss the role your parents have. If the school isn’t being cooperative or if, for some reason, reporting bullying situations isn’t something you can do, you need to have your parents or other trusted adult report these things for you. For instance if bullying is occuring on the bus, you will want to report it to the bus driver or bus aide. However, it is a good idea to have your parents follow up with a phone call to the transportation department to also report what happened and follow up to make sure that the bus driver actually filed the report they were supposed to. Parents can help monitor and put pressure on the school to support you as you impliment your action plan. You, your parents and your teachers all need to be working together if the bullying is going to stop.

Is legal action required?

Finally, some situations are so egregious you will want to consider taking legal action. This should be considered as a last resort, but some situations warrant legal action. Particularly if the behavior has gotten violent and/or if the school isn’t supportive or interested in helping.  Pursuing legal options is very difficult and can be emotionally draining, however, when all else fails, it may be your best choice.

 Other things to consider

If the bullying has been going on for a long time, you will want to consider some of the ways your bully is likely to escalate their behavior. Chances are they aren’t going to give up their control over you without escalating and trying something else. Use the back of the form to brainstorm possible escalations – and what your response to them might be. For instance, if you have been excluded on a playground and you insist on your right to play in a particular area, the bully may try to physically intimidate you. How will you respond if this happens? Knowing what you will do in an event of an escalation will help give you the courage to confront the bullies.

Coming Up

Lesson 6 will focus on how the responsibility of the parent. If a child is to successful confront a bully and get them to stop, they will need the support of their parents. How can parents best help their children.

Series Navigation<< Bully Vaccine Toolkit Lesson 4 – Why Bullies BullyBully Vaccine Toolkit Lesson 6 – Parent’s Responsibility >>