Some bullying might be related to what kids hear about, like political talk of deporting immigrants. Though free speech is something that is in our constitution, as teachers, these protections are limited. We, rightly so, are not allowed to push any political ideal. We will have ALL kids in our school. Sons and daughters of police, military, farmers, bankers, realtors, teachers, and more. All may have very different environments at home. Some conservative, liberal, atheists, ultra orthodox, Klan members, and "Black Lives Matter" protesters, all under the same roof. When divisive chatter perks up, my advice is to stop it in it's tracks. "You are welcome to have your own thoughts and feelings at home, but here in my room is a safe space that is free of bias." Your example sets the tone.
When bias based bullying happens, DO NOT IGNORE IT. It must be reported, and I always tell my student teachers to do it by email which is admissible in court. To also always let an administrator know with a call, meeting, or form. If it can be proven you knew of bias speech in your room (Bullying based on someone's differences, perceived or real) you can face legal action for your inaction.
I have this talk with my students early in the year. They know I raise my voice for only two reasons; safety or bullying. I was bullied as a student, I know what that is like. I am lucky to have had a supportive family when I was going through that because I came very close to suicide, a real potential outcome for some bullied students.
The images above are from a bullying unit I have done and share with you. Students work in teams and create posters for different populations of students. They research each topic and find out real information to share. I find that when people understand differences, they are less likely to bully. Bullies often attack what they don't understand or what they fear in themselves. Below is a free hand out you may use if this project appeals to you. It is a selection from my book, The Art Student's Workbook at Firehouse Publications.
To This Day - 7.36 m. Poetry and animation. (middle school and up.)
Caught in the Crowd - 3.39 m. Music video, a bully's apology. (MS/HS)
If you are in a Shell - 3.12 m. Color and Dance Theme - Advice for the bullied. (MS/HS)
Bully Dance 10.23 m. No words, great for discussions with smaller children K-4th.
Middle School Football 3.41 m. Uplifting video for MS students.