There´s a kid in my school who gets picked on all the time. I think he´s sad. I think he´s sad because he keeps his head down when he walks down the hall and he hardly ever says hello. I don´t pick on him. I feel sorry for him.
There is another kid in my school who gets teased. He gets called names. When he´s moving through the halls, kids push him and tell him he´s slow. I walk on the other side of the hall. I don´t say those things.
A girl who rides on my bus always sits alone. Sometimes kids throw things at her and call her names. The girls who sit behind her laugh. I don´t laugh. I don´t say anything.
One day my friends were out, and I had to sit alone in the cafeteria. Some kids came over to me and they started telling jokes. I laughed until the jokes started to be about me. My face burned. I looked at the table. I sat on my hands to keep them from moving so much. I tried not to cry, but it was hard not to cry, and when they saw my face getting wet, the kids started laughing. I wished I could stop crying. I wished I could disappear. When the kids left, I looked around the cafeteria. I was surprised to see that the cafeteria was full of students. There were even kids I knew, sitting at the table right next to mine. They were looking at me. I could tell they felt sorry for me.
When I went home, I told my big brother I was mad at the kids at the table next to mine. He shrugged and said, “Why? They didn´t do anything.”
Students everywhere are stepping up to say, “That´s not cool!” when other kids bully in school. And their words are making a world of difference.
- Say something to the person who is getting teased. It doesn´t matter what you say, really. Just saying “Hi” to someone you don´t usually hang out with works. So does, “Come play on our team.” Or, “Can I sit with you at lunch today?”
- Say something to the bully, Don´t become part of the fight. But remember, often just a quick word or two will make the teasing or the mean-spirited joke stop. Every one of us has our own way of saying, “I don´t want to hear that.” Try: “Knock it off….” “Cut it out....” “That´s so ten minutes ago!” “Oh, nice one.” Or, “Yeah, that´s cool.” Or, “Grow up.”
- Tell an adult - a parent, teacher, principal, school nurse, or someone else you trust. When teasing changes to pushing or feels scary, it´s important for you to let someone know, before anyone gets hurt,
- Because you can make teasing UN-cool. Most bullies tease because they want YOU to think they are cool. But teasing isn´t cool. It´s mean. If you don´t laugh when a bully makes a joke about another kid, the joke is over. And when that happens, you´ve made a huge difference.
- Because teasing will happen to you. (It happens to all of us.) You´re going to want someone to speak up for you. So - show them how it´s done.
Things to say are: “Please stop.” “That hurts my feelings.” “I haven´t done anything to you.” Don´t be afraid to tell an adult!