Sticks and Stones
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Real stories shared by families and teens show kids the pain of cruel gossip, slander and cyberbullying.
FAMILY DISCUSSION GUIDE
These discussion questions are provided for families to extend learning as they watch Sticks and Stones. Be advised that videos deal with mature topics including suicide, violence, and sexual harassment. Adults should preview videos before showing them to younger students.
Click number to proceed.
1. A student says, “There’s that saying, ‘sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me that’s so dumb, that’s not really how it is”. What does she mean? Why is she correct?
2. Do the adults in your community think that physical bullying is more harmful than verbal bullying? Does this concern you? Why or why not?
3. What ideas do you have to prevent cyber-bullying? Do you believe this is a problem in your community? Why or why not?
4. As a family, develop a set of rules for household internet devices. Are these rules adequate? Why or why not? How often should a family update its rules about internet use?
5. How can a family make sure that using all internet-connected devices remains safe?
6. Why do some children and adolescents not tell parents or a trusted adult about being targeted by bullying behaviors? How can this be changed so that all children and adolescents can tell a parent or trusted adult about any unsafe online issues?
7. Ryan’s dad, Mr. Halligan, visits schools regularly to talk with parents about his experiences saying, “This is a common thing in our society”. If he visited your local school, what advice do you think he would offer? Why?
8. Marvin describes many instances of physical and verbal violence he experienced making him feel like “a person who does not deserve anything in life; I see myself like this; It’s embarrassing, it’s humiliating”. Why does he feel this way? What advice would you offer to Marvin? Why?
9. Sandra Graham says that one of the problems with bullying is that youth who are targeted blame themselves. What are some things that could be done to help youth who are targeted by bullying behaviors not blame themselves? Why would these ideas work?
10. Marvin discusses his thoughts of harming the students who targeted him saying, “I just wanted to end their lives and make their parents feel the pain that they made me feel”. While Marvin did not choose to be violent, is it possible to help students who bully others feel empathy for students who are targeted? Why do think so?
11. Alison’s mother thinks that Alison felt vulnerable because of several very difficult events that had recently happened to her. Do you think that a new student in your local school who had similar experiences would fit in there? Why or why not?
12. Alison was first targeted by others discouraging students to associate with Alison. Describe how this is bullying behavior.
13. Sandra Graham uses the term, “public humiliation” to describe bullying. Describe why Alison’s experience was so humiliating. What are some other examples of public humiliation you can think of or know about? Why are these so hurtful?
14. Do you think that if Alison were a student in your school that she would have to sue the school to make the harassment stop? Why or why not?
15. Is bullying a problem in our local school? How would you know?
16. Does anything like what Ryan, Marvin, or Alison experienced happen in our school or community? If yes, what actions are needed? If not, what do you think is happening that makes this community and school safe (and how can we support those continued efforts)?
17. Who are the trusted adults that we (children or adolescents) can tell if we see or are targeted by bullying behavior?
18. Why do you think that some people incorrectly believe that experiencing bullying behavior is a normal part of growing up?