Anti – Bullying Tip #2 – Demystify Tattling

There is a big difference between tattling and telling-there is an important distinction to be made, and one that many primary school principals request I cover during my anti-bullying presentations. The “B” word is being thrown around a lot these days, but not all conflict types of “Bullying”. Many adults, let alone children fully understand how to properly engage in positive conflict resolution. Thus, conflicts can escalate into bullying or perceived bullying.


I think the biggest issue we’re facing is that of the bystander, where in bullying behaviors go unchecked because no one wants to step up and speak out. The fear of being labeled a tattletale or becoming the next target of bullying themselves keeps a good amount of kids quiet.


When a student Informs a teacher or parent of a bullying situation where someone is intentionally hurting him/her or another student, it is not tattling. This is taking a stand against bullying behaviour, this is the behavior of an upstander. I’ll often use the example of Laura Secord, known to most children more for her great chocolate then her heroism during the war of 1812, but still a shining example of the importance of being an upstander and speaking out against bullying.


In addition to educating students on the differences between tattling and telling, being given good anti-bullying role models and having discussions on healthy conflict resolution methods, it is important to remember to foster a team mentality at your school.


Our motto is summed up in our anti-bullying program’s name: School Heroes Unite. We aim to not only unleash every student’s inner hero, but to unite us all as a team, and teach them that we have each other’s back. Every student has the potential to become an upstander and learn through our anti bullying program.