The Golden Rule
An Issue Night on Bullying
Edge Night Outline
Goal of this Night
The goal of this Edge Night is to make the middle school youth aware of the dangers and consequences of bullying others. The youth will understand that every person deserves respect because we are made in the image and likeness of God.
About this night
The issue of bullying has made its way into the headlines on numerous occasions over the past couple of years. Unfortunately, we often hear about the issue only after a young person has taken his/her life. The topic of bullying requires our attention. First, let us ask how safe your Edge ministry is for youth. Do they feel it is a safe place they can come? Secondly, we need to be aware of what our youth are going through. This stresses the importance of relational ministry and knowing where our youth are out emotionally and spiritually. Lastly, we also need to be aware that bullying has new forms because of technology. In the past, youth may have been harassed at school, but could come home and be with his/her family. Today, youth may be harassed at school and the harassment carries into social networking, text messaging, phone calls and/or emails. We must challenge our youth to be Christ-like and stand up for the dignity of all people.
This Edge Night will begin with an icebreaker about pushing. The key is to focus the youth on how we maybe push others around that we do not like. It can also show how easy it is to have a friendly game escalate to competition, which can escalate to people being made fun of for not competing well. The Proclaim and small group time will focus on our human dignity that comes from God, who is our Creator, and we are made in His image. In small groups, the youth will have a chance to discuss and roleplay situations that involve bullying and how they should behave in each situation. Finally, the Edge Night will close by praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as a sign of our need for God’s mercy.
BEFORE THE NIGHT
Come together as a Core Team and discuss the issue of bullying and how you are aware it is affecting the youth in your ministry. Be aware of issues in your community and the best approach for your Edge Night. There is a book published by Youth Specialties called What Do I Do When Teenagers Encounter Bullying and Violence by Steve Gerall. Consider reading this book together and use it as a guide for your discussion.
Tonight our topic was on bullying. In October 2010, the news brought to light several cases of bullying that ended tragically. However, each day many cases of bullying go unreported and children are afraid to go to school. We discussed with the youth that every person is made in the image and likeness of God and deserves to be treated with respect. This is an important issue to discuss with your son/daughter. Be open to allowing your youth to share his/ her experience with bullying. Do not be afraid to ask the tough questions about his/her own behavior/ attitude when it comes to bullying. Additionally, be a strong support if your son/daughter shares that he/ she has been bullied. Help your child to discover his/her true value and discuss ways to go about ending the bullying. Also, this is a great opportunity to discuss cyber-bullying (a form of bullying that takes place via the Internet, social networking sites and text messaging). Here are some questions for the ride home:
1. What did you learn tonight about bullying?
2. Have you ever felt someone has bullied you?
3. Have you ever bullied another student at your school or in the community?
4. How can we as a family be a better example of respecting others?
Use lots of family photos around the room. Have the Core Team bring in photos from their family and place them either on the wall or on tables around the room. The room should feel like one big picture gallery. Try to find photos from many different generations. The hope is to inspire the feel of being part of a family.
• Notebook paper
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