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  Gangs and bullies
Updated 10 April 2003, 18.13

PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F

Kids are joining gangs as a way of protecting themselves from bullying and violence.

Explore ways of dealing with bullying.

Learning aims

  • Meanings of confrontation and diffusion

  • Ways of dealing with bullying

  • Reflect on how their behaviour affects others
Read through these comments posted by kids on the Newsround website, ask the group to give their views.

[A] I don't like gangs because if you don't belong in one in your class, you just get left out, because they don't let new people in.
Judith, 14, South London

[B] I don't think it's the gang itself, I think it's the people who are in it.
Helena, 13, Grimsby

[C] Gangs are fine. I happen to be in one but we get accused of things we haven't done because we go out in a large group, we are not loud or abusive to anyone.
Ellie, 14, Hull

[D] I don't think gangs are a bad thing. Lots of people associate gangs with drugs, drink and bullies. They aren't all a bad thing. Lots of gangs are just a group of friends that stick up for each other.
Dorz, 11, Ireland

[E] I'm like Tiesha from Aldershot Iżm in a gang and all we do is have a laugh and we certainly wouldn't bully anyone
Hannah, 10, Hailsham

[F] One of my best friends is hoping to leave our school and move because she's being bullied by a gang of kids who think they are "cool" and therefore a cut above the rest of us.
Hazel, 11, Cambridge

[G] I think gangs are like sheep. They all do the same as one another. And usually what they are doing is bad.
Gareth, 13, London

Students cut these up and rank them, to show how much they agree with the statements.

Main activity

Read the story Kids join gangs to beat the bullies.

Ask the class:

  • Is there safety in numbers?
  • Are gangs often a bad thing?
  • How would you help to stamp out bullying?

Give students the following scenario:

Jess and Shelley are classmates. Jess had worked all afternoon on a plaster of Paris sculpture. Shelley, without asking first, picked up the sculpture to look at it, but accidentally dropped it. It smashed on the floor.

Ask questions like these to get students to think how they would react:

  • What might Jess say to defuse the situation?

  • What are some of the ways that Jess and Shelley may avoid an argument?

  • What might Shelley say?

  • What could each of them do to keep the peace?

What is a win-win solution?
This is where both people get what they need from a situation.

Role-play situations
Give two students a scenario like the one below and have them act it out:

Tim is sitting in the living room trying to revise for a test the next day. His little sister, Alice, has had a tough day at school and wants to relax. She turns on the hi-fi and starts dancing. Tim can't concentrate and they start to argue.

Discuss the possible outcomes with reference to this list:

  • Tim and Alice get what they want (win-win)

  • Tim gets what he wants (win-lose)

  • Alice gets what she wants (win-lose)

  • Tim and Alice don't get what they want (lose-lose)

Possible outcomes:

  • Tim scares Alice into turning off the music (win-lose)

  • Tim and Alice are found to be arguing by their parents (lose-lose)

  • Alice uses a personal stereo (win-win)

  • Tim revises in his room (win-win)

All win-win outcomes will be sensitive to the needs of both people. Tim wants others to feel his revision is important and Alice wants others to realise she's had a hard day.

Students devise other conflict scenarios in groups and role-play them to the rest of the class.

The audience suggest win-win solutions for each.

Extension activity
Discuss the following:

What does it feel like to be bullied?

How would you feel if you were the bully?

Why is it important to listen to bullies as well as victims?

Final question:

Why should everyone be valued?

Teachers' Background

Click this link to view our

  • Bullying is sometimes caused by an individual and sometimes by a group.

  • The most important factor is the effect on the victim.

  • Many famous people have been victims of bullying. Myleene Klass from Hear'Say was reportedly bullied at school.
School policies on bullying help when:
  • everyone knows what the policy is
  • the policy is applied consistently
  • everyone believes in the policy

For all links and resources click at top right.

More InfoBORDER=0
UKKids join gangs to beat the bullies
UKGirls get bullied more than boys
UKOur bullying survey
Find OutOur guide to Bullying
ChatKids' comments on this story
Club'Teachers need to notice the bullies'
ClubStand up to bullying


Past StoriesBORDER=0
Compliment your classmates
Telling teachers
Are gangs always a bad thing?


Web Links
Bullying at School Information
DfES Bullying
Bullying Online
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Are gangs always a bad thing?
Our guide on how to get the better of bullies
Bullying Press Pack reports about bullying
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