Resources for helping students deal with bullying and hate speech

November 18, 2016

The Local Foods Program staff is hearing from extension colleagues across the country witnessing acts of bullying and violence against students. Violence is often based on their identity groups and/or political beliefs. We stand with them and our ISU students and faculty in condemning these acts of abuse, whether they are physical, verbal, or written.

Many extension colleagues have shared resources available for all of us to draw on in our work. We may work directly with students (of any age), or we can provide tools to those who do. Below is a partial list of these resources. We hope you will share them widely with your colleagues and clients.

The Local Foods team has also created a page on our website called “Inequities in the food system.” It contains definitions of terms and lists of resources including concepts, books, media, tools, trainings, and conferences. It also offers suggestions for “Where do I go from here?” We hope you will take a look, use and share the resources, and send us suggestions of others to add to this evolving page.


bullying signStop the Hate: National Campus Bias and Hate-Crime Prevention Program. Educational initiative of Campus Pride. Stop The Hate is dedicated to provide the necessary resources and educational training to combat hate on college campuses; and to actively seek partnerships and collaboration among various organizations with similar concerns to address bias and hate behaviors.

Be SAFE: Safe, Affirming and Fair Environments. Selected resources, including books for adults and young people, curriculum resources, research reports and articles, and online resources. From Michigan State University, 2015.

Multicultural/Diversity/Anti-Bullying Programs. Various web-based resources, primarily for those who work with students K-12. From Ohio State University Extension, 2016.

Helping Teens Stop Violence, Build Community, and Stand for Justice (book by Allan Creighton and Paul Kivel. Guide for adults who work with children 10 and up. 20th anniversary edition 2011).

Making the Peace: A 15-Session Violence Prevention Curriculum for Young People (book by Paul Kivel and Allan Creighton. Guide for working with high school students. 2002.)

Diversity in Action (book by Sharon Chappelle and Lisa Bigman. Guide for working with middle and high school students. 1998.)

The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California – Berkeley maintains a website with articles and tools on promotes inclusion at universities, including Finding Common Ground – How to Help Diverse Students, a book by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu.

Bullying and Substance Abuse is a web-based resource on identifying and intervening in bullying against kids going through drug rehab. (Free resource, but developed by a for-profit organization.)

8 Actions You Can Take Right Now If a Student is Being Bullied (these are intended for K-12 students, but are helpful for addressing bullying at any age.)

  1. Offer support in private to the child who has been bullied. Children often worry about “losing face” if adults rescue them in a public manner.
  2. Ask the student for the facts about the bullying behavior and assure the child that the conversation will be confidential. Keep in mind that the student may find it difficult to talk about the facts.
  3. Back up the student’s experience by talking to others who know the student. These people may be other students and adults who work in your building.
  4. Reassure the student that the bullying behavior is not his or her fault.
  5. Let the student know that you are there to support him or her. Emphasize that the student is being brave to share the facts.
  6. Find out what will help the student feel safe, then help the student develop an action plan.
  7. Communicate the details of the action plan to other staff members.
  8. Involve the student’s parents or guardians and offer them concrete ways to be supportive.

SOURCE: Search Institute

Related resource

Iowa State University’s Diversity and Inclusion website.