Return to Headlines

Helping students feel supported with social and emotional skills

teacher in front of class


It’s not just students who are victims of cyberbullying. At Lakewood Middle School, students are learning skills that will be applicable anytime they encounter bullying online. They learn social emotional learning (SEL) skills once a week during “Cougar Time.”


During a recent lesson, students in Kennedy Doty’s sixth grade class discussed with small groups the instances of cyberbullying they had witnessed.


They also identified strategies to respond: Don’t retaliate since people who are bullying are usually looking for a reaction; document the bullying; offer support to the person being bullied; report to a trusted adult; and block the person doing the bullying.


Doty made it a point to check that each student had a trusted adult to talk to. The class also went through a cyberbullying scenario to brainstorm strategies for a fictional victim and her classmates. “It has been great to watch as they develop empathy for one another,” Doty said.


The curriculum from Second Step is designed to help students feel safe, supported and ready to learn. In other units, students learn about goal-setting, as well as how to manage emotions and conflicts. Doty said the SEL lessons have helped create a community among her sixth graders. “I am excited to see how the lessons continue to positively impact our students,” she said.