Brenda Lana explains the challenges our teachers face to meet all the demands of running 35+ students in a class and addressing the issues our children have.  As difficult as it is, as teachers and educators we need to not assume that all kids come into class with processing skills in place.

Did you know that 15 minutes after 9/11 the world's magnetic field completely spiked...Because the world's emotions joined together! We are more interconnected that we may think. 

This video by Burger King shows how people, even adults have a hard time stepping up to defend a child getting bullied.

Science CAN proves how interconnected we are. This video by Heartmath shows how we can all collaborate in creating peace in the world. 

As an educator/school staff, it is extremely important to know the correct way you may intervene to ensure everyone’s safety as well as promoting peaceful and respectful behaviors to create a positive and caring school environment.

What Does NOT Work

1. Group treatment for children who bully does not work because:

  • The group becomes an audience for students who bully to brag about their exploits.
  • Other group members can serve as negative role models for one another, in some cases even learning from one another who to bully.

2. Simple, short-term solutions have been proved ineffective because:

  • Bullying is a long-term, often-repeated problem.
  • A workshop or assembly can help identify what bullying looks like and ways to respond, but teachers and students also need support and time to practice and master these skills.
  • Bullying is primarily a relationship problem, and longer term strategies are needed to help students and teachers experience supportive and affirming relationships within a caring school climate.

3. Conflict resolution and peer mediation strategies send the wrong message because:

  • Bullying is a form of peer abuse—not conflict between peers of equal power and control.
  • The strategies may further victimize the student who has been bullied.
  • Such strategies incorrectly expect the student who has been bullied or abused to solve his or her own abuse.
  • Sessions and meetings become other opportunities for the bullying behavior to be repeated.

4. Zero tolerance policies do not help solve bullying because:

  • Although bullying behavior is never tolerated, this strategy fails to recognize that bullying behavior is not a permanent characteristic of the student who did the bullying.
  • Bullying is a behavior that can be changed and replaced with more positive pro-social behavior.
  • Nearly 20 percent of students are involved in bullying other students, so it is not realistic to suspend or expel 20 percent of any student body.
  • Students who are involved in bullying behavior are suspended or expelled when they may benefit most from continued exposure to positive pro-social role models and a caring school climate.

Addressing Bullying Behavior At School

 1. Stop bullying on the spot
Take these steps:

  • Intervene immediately. It is okay to get another adult to help.
  • Separate the children involved.
  • Make sure that everyone is safe.
  • Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
  • Stay calm and model respectful behavior. Reassure the children involved, including bystanders.

Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Do not ignore it. Do not think children can work it out without adult help.
  • Do not immediately try to sort out the facts.
  • Do not force other children to say publicly what they saw.
  • Do not question the children involved in front of other children.
  • Do not talk to the children involved together—talk to them only separately.
  • Do not make the children involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.

Get police help or medical attention immediately if:

  • A weapon is involved.
  • There is serious bodily harm/sexual abuse or there are threats of serious physical injury.
  • There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia or anyone accused of     an illegal act such as robbery or extortion.

2. Find out what happened
Get the facts:

  • Separate all of the involved students.
  • Get the story from several sources, both adults and students.
  • Listen without blaming.
  • Do not call the act “bullying” while you are trying to understand what happened.

Determine if it is bullying:

  • What is the history between the students involved? Have there been past conflicts?
  • Is there a power imbalance? Remember that imbalance is not limited to physical strength. It is sometimes not easily recognized. If the targeted student feels like there is a power imbalance, there probably is.
  • Has this happened before? Is the student worried that it will happen again?
  • Have the students dated? There are special responses for teen dating violence.
  • Are any of the students involved in a gang? Gang violence has different interventions.

​3. Support the students involved
Support the students who are bullied:

  • Listen to and focus on the student.
  • Assure the student that bullying is not his or her fault.
  • Know that students who are bullied may struggle with talking about it.
  • Give advice about what to do.
  • Work together to resolve the situation and protect the bullied student.
  • Be persistent.
  • Follow up.

Address the one who bullied:

  • Make sure the student knows what the problem behavior is.
  • Show students that bullying is taken seriously. You may use consequences.
  • Work with the student to understand the reasons why he or she is bullied.
  • Involve the student who bullied in making amends or repairing the situation.
  • Avoid strategies that do not work or have negative consequences.
  • Follow up. 

Support bystanders who witness bullying by suggesting to:

  • Spend time with the students being bullied at school. Talk with them, sit with them at lunch, or play with them at recess.
  • Listen to them.
  • Call, at home, the student being bullied to offer encouragement and give advice.
  • Tell an adult who you trust, like your teacher or coach.
  • Set a good example. Do not bully others.
  • Send a text message or at a later time go up to the student who was being bullied and say, “That wasn’t cool” and “I’m here for you.”
  • Help the student being bullied get away from the situation.
  • Help the student being bullied tell an adult.
  • Take away the audience by choosing not to watch and walk away.
  • Be kind at another time to the student being bullied.
  • Tell the student being bullied that you do not like the bullying and ask if you can do anything to help.
  • Tell the student doing the bullying that you do not like it and to stop doing it (but only if it feels safe to do so).
  • Distract the student doing the bullying or offer an escape for the student being bullied by saying something like, “Mr. Smith needs to see you right now” or “Come on, we need you for our game” (but only if it feels safe to do so).
  • Do not combat violence with violence. It takes a lot of courage for someone to step up on behalf of a bullied student. Do not, however, use insults or physical violence to defend the student being bullied. Now is not the time to show off. You will most likely only make it more difficult for the student.
  • Do not get discouraged if you have already talked to the teachers and nothing happened. Keep trying. Teachers and other school authorities will respond if they find out that the bullying is becoming a recurring problem. Try talking to other teachers and counselors so that you can get more people involved in trying to stop the situation.
  • If you feel that this is none of your business, put yourself in the shoes of the student being bullied. Bullying can cause severe anxiety, depression, anger, and frustration and can turn the bullied student’s life into a nightmare. You would not want to feel that way.
  • Look for opportunities to contribute to the anti-bullying culture of your school through creating posters, stories, or films. 

*** If the one bullying is still enraged, you first need to calm him/her down. This is appropriate when no weapon in present. If the student has a weapon, you simply need to cooperate.

Techniques for de-escalating student behavior

Maintain control of yourself and your emotions

  • Appear calm, centered, and self-assured. This will help everyone stay calmer, too.
  • Use a modulated, low tone of voice.
  • Do not be defensive—even if the comments or insults are directed at you, they are not about you. Do not defend yourself or anyone else from insults, curses, or misconceptions about their roles.
  • Call on a colleague, an administrator, security, or the police if you need more help.
  • Be very respectful even when firmly setting limits or calling for help. The agitated student is very sensitive to feeling shamed and disrespected. We want the student to know that it is not necessary to show us that he or she should be respected. We automatically treat the student with dignity and respect.

Communicate effectively nonverbally

  • Allow extra physical space between you and the student—about four times your usual distance. Anger and agitation can fill the extra space between you and the student.
  • Get at the same eye level (kneel, sit, or stoop as needed) and maintain constant eye contact. Allow the student to break his or her gaze and look away if need be.
  • Do not point or shake your finger.
  • Do not touch the student—even if some touching is generally culturally appropriate and usual in your setting. Physical contact could easily be misinterpreted as hostile or threatening.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets, up and available to protect yourself, and stand at an angle to the student.

The de-escalation discussion

  • There is no content except trying to calmly bring the level of arousal down to a safer place.
  • Do not get loud or try to yell over a screaming student. Wait until he or she takes a breath; then talk. Speak calmly at an average volume.
  • Respond selectively; answer only informational questions no matter how rudely asked, (e.g., “Why do I have to do what you say?”). Do not answer abusive questions (e.g., “Why are all teachers jerks?”). This question should get no response whatsoever.
  • Explain limits and rules in an authoritative, firm, but always respectful tone. Give choices where possible in which both alternatives are safe ones (e.g., “Would you like to continue our meeting calmly or would you prefer to stop now and come back tomorrow when things can be more relaxed?”).
  • Empathize with feelings but not with the behavior (e.g., “I understand that you have every right to feel angry, but it is not okay for you to threaten me or other students.”).
  • Do not solicit how the student is feeling or interpret feelings in an analytic way.
  • Do not argue or try to convince.
  • Suggest alternative behaviors where appropriate (e.g., “Would you like to change seats?”).
  • Give the consequences of inappropriate behavior without threats or anger.
  • Represent external controls as institutional rather than personal. 

This video has had over 175million views since 3 years ago. It reveals, so beautifully, the heart of a boy getting bullied and his prayers. "Hopeful" by Bars & Melody.


This short animation shows a bully in the making! Bullying is a learned behavior ... one child can teach it to another and the vicious cycle continues on. 

Children sharing their painful stories of enduring bullying... a very informative video on bullying statistics making us realize how we can no longer afford to let this continue. 

Keaton Jones, a Tennessee middle schooler, is speaking out after an emotional Facebook video about being bullied. In the widely-shared video, he describes how fellow students poured milk on him and stuffed food in his clothes. Now, his mother is addressing backlash on social media. Mark Strassmann reports.

A beautiful animation about a boy who gets bullied. Look for the signs and help your youngster before it's too late. 

Learn to 

Ms. Brenda Lana is the Owner and Executive Director of Pathfinders, a unique learning center based in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. She is certified as Dyslexia Remediation Specialist and has worked at the Orange County Department of Education as a Reading Resource Teacher in Special Education where she trained teachers in reading instruction and facilitated classroom instruction. She has spent the past several years studying the latest research about the brain and has been trained in specialized programs to retrain the brain and develop underlying skills.

It's so hard to know what your teenager is going through as you want to allow them to have a bit of independence. This heartbreaking video is a good reminder for all of us to keep talking to our teenagers, keep loving them, keep giving them words of affirmation to lead them towards their goals and passions before it's too late.   

Does playing too much video games make you more aggressive? Does it increase bullying behavior? Super Teacher, Brenda Lana explains how balance is the key.

As educators, we need to remain open and flexible, learn what we need to learn so we can lead our next generation towards a more humanistic, united, and interconnected path.

The statistics are all over the news and the internet. It's mind boggling to see a 10 year old committing suicide. There are pages and pages of similar stories and worst of all, bullying is on the rise. It is a serious problem and no one should take it lightly. Unfortunately, only 20-30% of children who have been bullied tell an adult and when they do, you need to be prepared to deal with it correctly. Bullying should not be a part of growing up and needs immediate attention. We need to learn everything there's to know about bullying to educate ourselves and be able to set a good example for others.

"When you know better you do better" Maya Angelou. To help stop bullying, we need to start with our own family, school and community. First and foremost, leading by example is the most affective way to teach our children anything we want them to learn. We should start by making a conscious effort to stop threatening, manipulating, hitting, ridiculing, belittling or hurting children, coworkers and anyone we interact with. If we want children to learn to deal with conflicts with respect and in a peaceful manner, we need to be willing to be respectful and talk out differences peacefully with the people around us. We need to invite diversity into our lives and treat everyone equally, with kindness and respect. 

"Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring & integrity, they think of you."  H.J. Brown Jr.

Ms. Kelly McKinnon Bermingham,  MA, BCBA, Director of Behavior Intervention at the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Santa Ana, and owner/clinical director of Kelly McKinnon and Associates in San Juan Capistrano, California. Kelly McKinnon explains the importance of Ability Awareness Project and our responsibility as parents and educators to create a safe bully-free environment for our children.​

Even though this is no laughing matter, this short segment by Comedy Central reveals the true reason of how bullied become bullies, how they think and the cycle of this never ending painful abuse. 



As educators, your role in helping to identity, help and stop bullying is crucial. About half of children live with a single parent who are most likely juggling a busy daily schedule and may not have the time to provide daily guidance if their child is experiencing bullying at school. In some cases, you are the most important influence for a child that can help them heal their pain and get themselves out of a bullying situation.