Gossip is an unfortunate reality in our schools and in our students’ lives. Gossip in the school community can be demoralizing and can have far-reaching individual and whole community consequences. Helping students to deal with gossip and to relate to each other in developmentally appropriate and respectful ways can challenge even the most competent school counselor. School counselors can help support student’s healthy social development by starting to talk about social skills and friendship skills, beginning in elementary school. Gossip will look different across the K-12 grade span, but can have devastating effects at any grade level. Empowering students to deal with gossip and to not create, invite, or associate with “drama” can be a key component to student’s social and emotional success.
- School counselors can help positively transform a school community and the social and emotional success of students by teaching them how to appropriately deal with gossip and rumors.
- Teaching students conflict management/conflict resolution skills, as well as how to deal with hurt feelings are one way to help students learn to deal with gossip and rumors.
- When it comes to social and emotional development, counselors can play a significant role in reducing the spread of gossip among students (Cross & Peisner, 2009).
- By building in proactive strategies, including small-group counseling activities and discussions, counselors provide positive examples of behavior students can incorporate in their lives, leading to healthier decisions and more positive actions.
- Gossip and rumors can be very hurtful and can even cross into bullying territory.
- It is important for children to understand the power of their words and the damage rumors and gossip can do.
- Gossip and rumors can happen inside close-knit friend groups, as well as through classroom acquaintances.
- Access to technology and social media can perpetuate the problem.
- Gossip does not only affect students in the school community, but because of the ethical obligations of school counselors, we must think very carefully about how we handle topics regarding specific students when speaking with teachers and other school staff.
- Guidance counselors are often vulnerable to breaching confidentiality because of their close contact with teachers and other school personnel. In showing concern for
students and their problems, counselors may violate these students’ right to privacy.
- School Counseling Gossip, RA and Girl Power Activities
- Rumor Gossip (PowerPoint presentation for Elementary and Middle School)
- How to Handle Rumors and Gossip in Middle School Video
- A Glittery Gossip Lesson (Elementary, but can be adapted for Middle School)
- Professional School Counselor Blog: Rumors and Gossip
- GOSSIP AND THE GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: AN ETHICAL DILEMMA
- Middle School Gossip: When two seventh graders lead a staff meeting about social drama
- Gossip Activities, Worksheets, Lesson Plans and Printables (ES and MS resources)
- Gossip- Deal With It Resource Guide(ages 9-12)
- Rumors & Reputation- Grade 8 Lesson
- A Free Lesson on Gossip and Rumors (grades 4-6)
- 5 Tips to Stop Gossip: Ignore it, use humor, correct the rumor, speak up and tell an adult (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/412994228317222506/?lp=true)
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