Counseling & Special Ed

“WHY ARE THEY PICKING ON ME?” Understanding & Responding to Social Cruelty

Course No. ED451Z, ED551Z

Are kids at your school mean to each other? Of course they are. When kids are cruel to other kids not only does it do direct harm to the victims, it also affects the learning environment for everyone. Over the years schools have responded with strong, no bullying polices and these are important because they show solidarity with the victims. Dr. Carl Pickhardt suggests in his book, Why Good Kids Act Cruel, that it’s time for a more effective approach.

He believes that while we do need to deal decisively with acts of social cruelty, that most of these acts, especially in the teen and early adolescent years, are caused by deeper issues that should be addressed. This course aims to provide educators with a more complete understanding of social cruelty and encourages a proactive approach for addressing it.

This course is appropriate for Pre-K through grade 12 teachers, administrators, support staff and parents. 

Note: The book was written mainly for educators and parents of middle-schoolers. However, regardless of the age group you work with this information is crucial so we can be part of the solution.

We advise you to review and download the course syllabus before registering. Syllabus
  1. Defined social cruelty, its emotional and academic consequences for the victims and how social cruelty undermines the social safety of all students.
  2. Learned why “good kids” engage in social cruelty and how the normal developmental tasks of childhood/adolescence play a significant role in the dynamics of social cruelty.
  3. A sense of the five (5) major tactics of social cruelty, including the unique adolescent fear that gives the tactic power and the unique cruel message each tactic sends when it is used against the victim(s).
  4. Learned what educators and parents can do pro-actively to prepare students to deal with social cruelty, as well as what steps can be taken to hopefully prevent, or at least limit such acts.
  5. Acquired some specific strategies that educators and parents can employ to help students cope with social cruelty when it occurs. 

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