Posted by   Nuala O'Hanlon
24 Oct 2017

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.
Mahatma Gandhi once stated that,
'If we want to create lasting peace, we must begin with the children.'

There is great wisdom in this, and education is key. We, as educators, have major roles to play in helping to achieve this. We do it by:

  • Creating and promoting peaceful, safe, and secure environments for children
  • Modelling positive behaviours built on mutual respect, trust, and empathy
  • Setting very clear behaviour expectations and guidelines
  • Helping children to understand and take responsibility for their own behaviour and consequences of their own actions
  • Providing children with coping strategies for dealing with distressing behaviours, if and when they arise.

My colleague, and fellow educator, Kathryn, and I decided to tackle the issue of school bullying head-on, in a way that would make it easy for children to understand ~ the powerful and highly effective medium of song.

'Bully-Free Zone!' (Grades K-7) is a positive behaviours, curriculum-aligned song that provides a non-threatening, child-friendly approach to dealing with this serious issue in schools. The lyrics address various types of unacceptable behaviours, including the ever-increasing cyber bullying - with an emphasis on the right of every child to feel safe and protected. This song (plus lesson materials) makes a perfect teaching/learning tool for raising awareness around this serious issue, not only for this month, but throughout the whole school year!

Kathryn and I are very grateful for the support of a wonderful local primary school principal, Mrs Terri Paterson who, together with the parent body, graciously allowed us to work with and record some of their children on the song’s chorus, and to record a student assembly performance video of 'Bully-Free Zone!' with an introduction by older students:

We are very proud of the students, who took ownership of the message, some even going as far as writing to a local newspaper to tell of their experience, and to urge other schools to become bully-free zones!

As a teacher, I use this positive behaviours song with students, to kick start discussion about unacceptable behaviours, and strategies available to students for resolving conflict.

We unpack the song lyrics line by line, defining and clarifying words, then sing the song through a couple of times. The older students then enjoy creating their own slogans, which can then be used in assembly performances, as they spread the whole school message ~ 'Bullying is NOT OK - NO WAY!'

Sample Lyrics:

Attention, please!
May I have your attention, please!
This is a bully-free zone!
I repeat, a bully-free zone!
No bullying will be tolerated in this school,
It's a bully-free zone!

Verse 2
Everyone is valued here and all must be protected.
Negative behaviour at all times will be rejected!
Trying to annoy someone does not build good relations,
It's a form of what is known as private space invasion.

Bullying is not OK - no way! It's never a solution;
Deal with problems as they rise, with conflict resolution.
Caring isn't optional, it's what we all expect;
Everyone is welcome here, but bullying, we reject!

©Lyrics, Nuala O’Hanlon / Music, Kathryn Radloff
*Principal's Testimonial:
'Students from St Kieran's Catholic Primary School have been involved in the recording of this Keystone Creations song which promotes a positive behaviours/values approach to the serious issue of bullying.
The song lyrics and catchy chorus, 'Bullying is NOT OK - NO WAY!' help students to understand and address this unacceptable behaviour.' ~ Mrs Terri Paterson, Principal

*Downloadable 'Bully-Free Zone!' MP3 song & lesson materials.'

*View more curriculum-aligned song packages in our DBT store.

*The national definition of bullying for Australian schools states that,

'Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert).'

National Bullying Prevention Month.
Keystone Creations ~ Educational Songs
'A Lesson in Every Lyric'®


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