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Empathy can help prevent bullying
September 30, 2022

By La Salle Academy Healthy News reporters | Editor’s note: Ms. Edward’s fourth-grade reporters have been learning about how showing empathy can help prevent bullying. As a part of their research, they interviewed Mrs. Colleen Burns, La Salle social worker, and Ms. Lauren Schwartz, third-grade teacher.

Q: What does empathy mean to you? Why is showing empathy important?

Mrs. Burns: Empathy means being able to understand how another person feels. Showing empathy is important because it lets another person know they are understood.

Mrs. Schwartz: Empathy is when you understand how someone feels and what they’re going through.

Q: Can empathy stop people from bullying? Why or why not?

Mrs. Burns: Yes, I believe empathy can stop people from bullying, because they can imagine how the victim feels, and then maybe the bully wouldn’t want to bully.

Mrs. Schwartz: Yes, it can, because if you understand what it feels like to not be treated nicely, you won’t want to do it to others.

Illustration by Healthy NewsWorks reporter

Q: How can you learn to be empathetic?

Mrs. Burns: You can learn to be empathetic by knowing your own feelings in a situation and remembering how you felt. If you try to put yourself in other people’s shoes and imagine how they feel, you might learn to be more empathetic.

Mrs. Schwartz: You can start by listening to other people’s feelings and asking them how they feel.

Q. How does empathy help people heal?

Mrs. Burns: It lets people know that they have been heard and understood. It helps them move on from whatever happened.

Mrs. Schwartz: Empathy helps people because you can get help and support when people are empathetic.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Mrs. Burns: I think the world can be a better place if sometimes we stop for a moment and try to be empathetic to others.

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