Bias, Bullying & Bystanders - Tips for Elementary School Educators

Produced by the HRC Foundation

Be an upstander

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Teach your students how to be an ally

  • Work with your students so they know what they can do if they witness bullying including talking with or befriending the targeted student, confiding in an adult, talking with the student who is being mean, causing a distraction to help stop the harassment, or speaking up in the moment.
  • Check out the lesson plan: Making Decisions: Ally or Bystander.

Involve families

  • Host a family night with a panel of diverse families from your school community.
  • Hold a book night with students or teachers reading from books that show a range of diversity – including racial, ethnic, religious, economic status or family structure.
  • Check out Family Education and Community Building.

Use books to engage students

  • Read books such as One by Kathryn Otoshi or Benjamin and the Word / Benjamin y La Palabra by Daniel Olivas to spark discussion of hurtful teasing and ways to be an ally to classmates.
  • Use books to spark discussions of the real put-downs they hear, paying close attention to ones that target a child’s or their family’s identity.
  • Check out the lesson plan: Words that Hurt, Words that Heal.
  • Check out Welcoming Schools diverse book lists.


Bias, Bullying & Bystanders - Tips for Elementary School Educators

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