Teachers Take Action Against Bullying

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. uplift / ʌpˈlɪft / (v) – to bring about positive emotions

    The campaign aims to uplift people suffering from discrimination.

  2. go the extra mile / goʊ ðiˈɛk strə maɪl / (idiom) – to do more than what is expected

    The student went the extra mile by helping his classmate.

  3. overwhelmed / ˌoʊ vərˈʰwɛlmd, -ˈwɛlmd / (adj) – experiencing intense emotions

    The mother was overwhelmed when she saw her baby for the first time.

  4. poke fun / poʊk fʌn / (idiom) – to make insulting comments

    The children poked fun at the young girl.

  5. at the receiving end / æt ði rɪˈsivɪŋ ɛnd / (idiom) – experiencing a certain behavior that is usually seen as negative

    The actor was at the receiving end of criticisms.


Read the text below.

Two acts of standing up against bullying gain public attention.

A schoolgirl in Brazil faced insult from a boy because of her unique hairstyle. Upon learning about the situation, teacher Ana Ferreira uplifted the girl’s spirits through comforting words. Ferreira went the extra mile by coming to school the next day with the same hairstyle as the student. The schoolgirl, who was positively overwhelmed by the gesture, expressed her gratitude by hugging Ferreira and telling her that she was beautiful. Ferreira narrated the incident on her social media account and posted a picture of the two of them together. Ferreira earned praises from the public because of her compassion.

Eleven-year-old Jackson Johnston from the United States was also the subject of a bullying incident after he shaved his hair to support his grandfather who was diagnosed with cancer. When he came to school, students called him names such as “bald boy” and poked fun at him for his appearance. Tim Hadley, the school head teacher, intervened by calling for an assembly where he asked Johnston to share about his grandfather’s condition. Hadley revealed at the event that he also lost some loved ones to cancer. To further defend Johnston, Hadley had his hair shaved by the young boy. Not long after that, a video of the event spread on social media.

Although gaining support against bullying has a positive impact, experts say that being at the receiving end of negative comments from others can have lifelong effects.  These include low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. In addition, those who suffered from verbal attacks will most likely have difficulty trusting not only themselves, but other people as well.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Would you have done what the teacher and the head teacher did? Why or why not?
• If you were a school administrator, how would you discipline those who bully others?

Discussion B

• In what situations should teachers intervene in the lives of their students?
• Aside from being educators, what other roles can teachers have in their students’ lives?