IDIOMS!
"be or feel down" = be or feel sad

"James has been really down lately because he has few close friends at school."


"pick a fight" = start a fight

"Some of the kids are always trying to pick a fight with our son for unknown reasons."


Cyberbullying

1. Pre-Listening Exercises

HELPFUL TIP : Many children experience bullying at school that can lead to depression and even suicide. Being more compassionate of differences can lead to healthier lives.



2. Listening Exercises [ Top ]
Listen to the conversation and check your answers.

1. What is the name of the girl?
A. Marsha
B. Michelle
C. Megan

2. She is a student in ____________.
A. elementary school
B. junior high school
C. high school

3. The girl's teacher just thinks that she needs to _____________ to make things better.
A. talk more
B. study quietly
C. pay attention

4. Some of the students have been __________________.
A. ignoring the girl at lunch
B. making fun of her clothes
C. stealing the girl's books

5. What did some kids do on Facebook that hurt the girl's feelings?
A. They deleted her as a friend.
B. They didn't invite her to a friend's birthday party.
C. They wrote some awful messages.

6. The girl's mother is planning on __________________ to resolve the problem.
A. meeting with the school principal
B. contacting the local police
C. discussing the issue with a lawyer

7. The teacher wants to ________________.
A. apologize to the girl by email
B. talk to her the next day at school
C. read books on suicide prevention


Answers:

1. Megan
2. junior high school
3. talk more
4. making fun of her clothes
5. They wrote some awful messages.
6. meeting with the school principal
7. talk to her the next day at school

Script:

Teacher: Hi. Welcome to Parent-Teacher Conference.

Parent: Thanks.

Teacher: So, what is your child's name?

Parent: It's Megan Jones.

Teacher: Megan. Uh, let's see. Oh yeah, Megan. Um, she missed the last couple of days. Has she been sick?

Parent: No, she's been having some problems with the other kids in your class, and . . .

Teacher: Well, you know, junior high school is a difficult time, but she just needs to speak up a little more in class. I think . . .

Parent: No, it's . . . it's more than that. Some of the kids in your class have really been bullying her a lot.

Teacher: What do you mean?

Parent: Well, um, they've been teasing her a lot about her appearance, and then, the other day, you didn't help things [ What? ] Yeah, she said you made a comment about her clothes.

Teacher: What do you mean? I mean . . .

Parent: She said you commented on her shirt and jeans, like they were from the 1970s or something like that.

Teacher: Well I was just kind of joking a little bit with her.

Parent: Well, yeah, that's what you think, but other kids follow your example. In fact, one of the kids took a picture of her with their phone and posted it and had some real nasty comments on Facebook. It was terrible.

Teacher: Well, you know, kids can be kids.

Parent: No, don't you get it? This is bullying; it's cyberbullying, and adults like you are part of the problem. Forget it. I'm planning on discussing this with the principal tomorrow.

Teacher: Oh, wait, wait, wait. Um, uh, oh. I'm sorry if I hurt her feelings [ Yeah. You did! ], but . . .

Parent: I get sick and tired of people thinking that a little teasing is okay. Too many kids are killing themselves because they feel that there's just no way to escape this.

Teacher: Okay. Well, I guess I need to be a little bit more careful, but . . .

Parent: Yeah, you do. I really hope I can get Megan to come to school tomorrow. She's been really, really anxious and depressed [ Wow. ] for some time, and your comments and those that the other kids made haven't helped.

Teacher: Wow. Uh, I'm really sorry. Could you see if you can bring her to school tomorrow? Uh, I'd like to apologize and see what I can do to, maybe, improve the situation.

Parent: Thanks. I'd appreciate it. That would help.



4. Post-Listening Exercises

Have you (or someone you know) ever experienced bullying at school or in your neighborhood? If so, explain the situation, how you felt, and how things turned out for you. Have you bullied someone in any big or small way? Why did you do it? What led you to stop at some point (if you did stop)?

5. Online Investigations

Use the Internet to find information on these questions:

  • How is bullying in person different from cybebullying (for example, you can cyberbullying someone else 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)?
  • What are the effects of cyberbullying on people?
  • What are the warning signs of cyberbullying?
  • What are ways in which people are cyberbullied on the Internet?
  • What can people do to protect themselves from cyberbullying?
  • Are boys or girls more likely bully other kids?
  • Are people who are bullied more likely to suffer from depression or die by suicide?

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