Grades 4th to 6th
Bully Busters is an interactive workshop developed by Educational Theatre at Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States. The workshop arms students with Bully Repellent Steps, enabling them to better resist repetitive psychological bullying. Artist/Educators use role play to explore these steps with students in bully situations. After completing the workshop students will be able to define bullying, state each Bully Repellent Step, and use the steps in a scenario.
Bully Busters defines bullying as, “repeatedly harassing or intimidating others and causing harm.” The Bully Repellent Steps are designed with the safety and self-esteem of the victim as the priority. It is important the victim of bullying be aware of useful tools to diffuse the situation and regain a sense of power. Victims of bullying who develop assertive skills experience a reduction in instances of bullying as the bully loses interest in them as a target.1
Bully Busters can be integrated into your school’s existing comprehensive anti-bullying program. It provides a great opportunity to open up discussions with your students about bullying. For example, it can be very helpful after the workshop to take the opportunity to review the answers to questions like these:
· What is your school’s definition of bullying?
· What are your policies for reporting bully behavior?
· What are the consequences of bullying in your school?
Each workshop session consists of no more than 30 students in a classroom environment with enough room to get up and move around. The session lasts between 45 to 60 minutes and multiple sessions can occur in a day. It will take approximately ½ hour to set up the space. A minimum of two Artist/Educators work in the classroom for each interactive session. Please have a teacher or school representative remain in the classroom during the workshop.
The workshop begins with the Bully Repellent Steps:
Step 1 Just Chill
Step 2 Deflect and Protect
It’s important to stay calm and keep your cool so you can make the best choice about how to handle the situation.
Step 3 Stand Strong
Try to say something that will change the direction of the situation, such as a joke or a neutral comment that won’t start a fight or make the situation worse. Then, walk away and protect yourself.
Step 4 Alert an Adult
Tell the bully, “What you are doing is harmful to me and if you don’t stop, I am going to have to tell an adult.”
Sometimes you have to involve adults to get the bully to stop his or her behavior. You can tell a counselor, a teacher, your parents, or a community leader- any adult you trust. Tell more than one adult about the situation.
The next section of the workshop uses role play with the steps that were discussed in the first half of the workshop. Students will be divided up into groups of 5 or 6 to work on their original presentations. Each group will be given a scenario or illustration and asked to use at least the first 2 Bully Repellent Steps in their skits.
Resources for Educators
-Click on file to download
Bully Repellent Steps Poster
Bully Busters Follow Up Lesson for Teachers
Milsom, A., & Gallo, L.(2006) Bullying in Middle Schools: Prevention and Intervention. Middle School Journal,