Ms. Gilmour greeted the kids as they came into class after school. She saw a few sad faces. She asked Carmen and Nicole what was wrong. Both wanted to talk at once.
Nicole said, “I love school, and I love to learn, but it’s hard when there are so many kids being mean and rude. Why can’t they just be nice?”
Carmen added, “I missed my friends over the summer, and when we first came back to school, all were friendly. But now, they seem to be ignoring me and some other kids. Other kids are being excluded.”
The boys were listening to the girls, nodding their heads.
Tanner said, “I’m seeing the same mean things being done, too.”
Rudy and Steven agreed. Even Truman the Dragon, who usually is happy and positive, added that kids on his sports teams were not being nice to one another either.
Ms. Gilmour asked, “What is going on here? What do you think is happening?
Everyone said at once, “Bullying!”
Ms. Gilmour continued, “October is Bullying Prevention Month.”
Before she could say any more, the kids all added, “Every month should be Bullying Prevention Month!” She laughed and said, “I agree. We should be aware of bullying all the time, not just in October. What are some things you can say to someone who is bullying?”
Rudy said, “I like to ask the person why they are saying that. It makes them stop and think about what they are saying.”
“I like that,” replied Tanner, “Or say, ‘What do you mean?’ That gets them thinking, too.”
Truman stood up to his full height and roared, “I lean over a kid who is bullying and say, ‘Are you sure you want to say that or do that?’” The kids all acted like they were afraid of Truman.
Ms. Gilmour stepped in and said, “You don’t want to hurt anyone, just let them know that you won’t accept that behavior.” Then she asked, “What about dealing with bullying that isn’t so obvious, like a look, a shove on the playground when no-one is looking or a quiet put-down?” Everyone agreed that it is best to report it.
Tanner answered with, “Don’t encourage the person doing the bullying.”
Nicole added, “I try to find new friends. There are lots of kids who need a friend, especially those who are being bullied.”
Truman shared, “We all need to be helping kids learn to be Cool Kind Kid Challengers. Let’s challenge them with ‘Are you TOUGH enough to be KIND?’ and ‘Are you COOL enough to be KIND?’”
Everyone cheered for Truman as they left class.
Note to Parents from Ms. Gilmour:
Bullying is the #2 epidemic in the U.S. In addition to these Cool Kind Kid articles, we endeavor to provide up-to-date research, articles and other news on this topic on our Facebook page. For your kids, we post Tanner’s Tuesday Tips on Tuesdays and Cool Kind Kid Challenger Tips on Fridays.
We also post Shocking Sunday Stats to keep this issue in the forefront of people’s minds. We’d love to post stories and photos of your kids being Cool Kind Kids and how you have successfully dealt with bullying.
Go to www.facebook.com/coolkindkid. To send photos and stories, and give your permission to post, go to firstname.lastname@example.org