A Class Community Idea: Drop a Note for a Friend!

     I've found a class community idea that lets students report bullying, feel supported, and speak up for someone else.
     Our classroom "Drop a Note for a Friend" box gives students a low-risk way to share concerns about any bullying incidents they may be aware of and any instances of unkindness. The incidents can be directed at the reporting child him/herself or someone else.

   The anti-bullying program at our school teaches that "silent witnesses", the ones who are aware of bullying incidents but don't report them, are just as harmful - and accountable - as the bullies.

     The box is simple. I just repurposed a tissue box with a printed sign. It's in an out-of-the-way spot by my desk, so students can let me know what is happening to them or to others by dropping a note into the box without others seeing them do it. 

     Drop A Note For A Friend serves three purposes: 

1) the reporting student feels safer 

2) being aware allows me to keep an eye on specific situations and do a little friendly questioning

3) actual incidents get reported more frequently  

     Will I get some unsubstantiated claims?  It's possible, so being aware is even more important.  I like knowing that my students can communicate with me on this important issue.

     What do you do in your classroom to counter bullying and empower students?

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