Starter notes & outline for
The “In Crowd” and Social Cruelty –
an ABC News Special with John Stossel

Video available on DVD and YouTube

Produced by – ABC News with John Stossel

The “In Crowd” and Social Cruelty by John Stossel

Finish the incomplete sentences and take notes as desired.


Popularity means ___________________________

Girls are considered popular if:

Boys are considered popular if:


The wealthier ________________________

Most people are either In or Out (agree or disagree)

Sometimes it is a matter how you’re born. (agree or disagree)

Cliques are a means of controlling people.

To be Cool you:

Humans have a primal need to be a part of a group, just like chimpanzees

Girls do more “dissing” and hold grudges and exclude: Being popular means you’re in the right group

Popularity does not mean that a person _________________

Out Crowd are the 20% of the people at the bottom of the Social Ladder:

Social Cruelty makes some kids not want to attend school

Children automatically seek out ______________

By age 3 they can talk about it.

By age 12 kids seek friends to replace their family _____________________

The “average” kid has _______ friends.

Don’t worry about kids who have less than 5 friends, worry about kids who have ______ friends.

It is important for kids to have at least 1 friend.

Lots of nasty things happen on playgrounds and adults just don’t notice.

Kids are afraid not to play with bullies because____________________.

21% of kids jump in and join the bully to avoid becoming the next victim.

Even the attention of being harassed by a bully is better than ________________________.

Bullying happens every _____ minutes on a playground.

Bullies keep moving to avoid adult intervention.

Many times victims believe that they ______________________.

Sometimes it is difficult to identify what is intimidation versus what is horseplay when kids do a lot of ________________________.

Sadly, teachers intervene less than _____% of the time.

Bullies want to be _____________, have power over ____________, believe they are ____________.

Bullies are more popular than victims.

Power is a euphoric (makes one feel elated and excited).

Girls also bully physically.

Bullies like to see ___________ and will push them to that point. They don’t feel ___________ for the victims, they feel good about making someone miserable (sociopathic: enjoys the misery of others).

Lonely children are the ______________________.

Life is hell for kids who are picked on. Recess can be the _______________ for them.

Popular kids may bully and be permitted to get away with it by other kids and even teachers.

Some adults just tell kids to ____________________________ and ________________________.

Sometimes bullying can end in _______________ for victims who receive no help or support.

Reducing bullying

Use Role Play to help kids feel the pain of the victims.

Help bystanders learn how to be assertive and intervene on behalf of the victim.

If just one child says ____________________ then bullying usually stops by the second time that statement is said.

Vicarious excitement: many bystanders may stand and watch or get involved in the bullying because it is a sad human pastime to watch people hit each other.

Role playing can assist in creating ____________ for victims and __________ for bystanders.

Peer Mediators is an excellent way to avoid violent confrontations.

Peer Mediators set ground rules for the conflict resolution process.

Role Play exercises which assign kids unknown charactertics so they can feel safe and achieve empathy.

Adults and schools are under a ___________________ to make school as safe as possible and to help make kids happier in school socially.

How important is middle school and high school?

Social Cruelty exists there.

Weakest Link, media.

People even take Charisma Classes to overcome the stigmas felt in middle and high school.

The Out crowd still resents what happened in middle and high school.

Tortured memories of high school.

In Crowd exclusion for most.

Adults may even believe that it’s the best years of a kid’s life (no way).

How can being an outcast in your school be the best years of one’s life?

Popular kids do better in school and have the confidence to do better in life as well.

Bad times in school may spur some to work even harder to prove themselves.

Even a winner of Survivor credits his win to being picked on in high school.

No motivation is stronger than “I’m going to show them!” Like Sissy Spacek, Bruce Springsteen and Dustin Hoffmann.

Does high school every end?

What did we learn about bullying?

Cruel things _______________________.

Adults often have _________________ about them or pay it no attention.

The fact that we can’t see everything should not stop us from trying _________ when aggressive acts occur.

Watch how your children ____________________.

Watch the playground for acts of ______________________ immediately.

Ask your children about __________________________.

If your child does not have a least one friend, ____________________.




Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
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