In this day and age, with so many students at our schools being bullied, sometimes to the point of death, one school as taken a new approach to the problem: Suck it up.
At Zeman Elementary School in Nebraska a flier was sent out to all parents with suggestions for their children should they become the victims of bullying.
Rule No. 1: “Refuse to get mad. Anger is a feeling we have toward our enemies, not our buddies. When you get angry, you are treating them like they are an enemy. Besides, if a bully finds out he/she can get you angry, you become their puppet, and the bully controls you.”
Rule No. 2: “Treat the person who is being mean as if they are trying to help you. No matter how insulting or mean they may sound, be grateful and think they really care about you. (This does not mean you have to believe what they tell you.)
Rule No. 3: “Do not be afraid. Fear is something we feel toward enemies, not buddies. When you are afraid, you are treating the bully like an enemy. If you are afraid, you are automatically putting the bully in the stronger position, and you automatically lose, and since the bully wants to keep winning, they will continue to do things to make you feel afraid.”
Rule No. 4: “Do not verbally defend yourself. We defend ourselves from enemies, so we are treating the other person like an enemy, not a friend. When one person attacks and the other person is the defender, the attacker is in the stronger position, so the defender is automatically the loser. If we defend, we lose.”
Rule No.5: “Do not attack. We attack enemies, not friends. If I attack you back I am treating you like an enemy, so the bully, in return, will treat you like an enemy. It takes two people to fight, so it’s the person who retaliates or responds, who actually starts the fight.”
Rule No. 6: “If someone physically hurts you, just show you are hurt; do not get angry. If someone hurts you, you want them to feel sorry and apologize. If you get angry, they won’t feel sorry.”
Rule No. 7: “Do not tell on bullies. The number one reason bullies hate their victims is because the victims tell on them. Tell an adult only when a real injury or crime (theft of something valuable has occurred. Would we keep our friends if we tattled on them?”
Rule No. 8: “Don’t be a sore loser. No one likes a sore loser. Would you like to play with someone who gets upset when they lose? Lose gracefully, and be a good sport. Kids will like you better.”
Rule No. 9: “Learn to laugh at yourself and not get ‘hooked’ by put-downs. Make a joke out of it, or agree with the put-down. For example: ‘If you think I’m ugly you should see my sister.’ ‘You’re right and it’s going to get worse.’ ‘I’ve know [sic] that for a long time.’ ‘Thanks for noticing.’ ‘If you think I look like a nerd you should see my dad.’
Seriously? Just take the bullying because otherwise you’re a tattler and a loser?
Seriously? Keep silent about the bully unless you get physically hurt?
Seriously? Join in with the bully and make fun of yourself?
Seriously? You victimize the victim? You tell them that if they are hit and retaliate that they are the instigators?
This letter did not go home to all Zeman Elementary School students; it only went to the homes of some fifth-graders but the parents were never-the-less stunned by it and began calling the school.
And they were told that the list was real and was legitimately sent out by Zeman Elementary. So a lot of parents began calling the district offices where they were told that the district knew nothing about this ridiculous list.
And naturally the district has since issued an apology, explaining in a public statement on its Facebook page that the flier contained “inaccurate information”:
“The flier was sent home with good intentions, unfortunately, it contained advice that did not accurately reflect LPS [Lincoln Public Schools] best practices regarding response to bullying incidents.”
The school has now created a new flier, which is posted on its website, concluding, “Asking for help is not ratting!” and sent out its own apology:
Dear Zeman Families,
I would like to follow up and tell you what happened at school with our fifth grade students today as a result of a bullying flyer that was sent home on Tuesday. You may have heard from the school, other parents, or various media sources about this incident. The flyer is not an LPS publication and conveyed a message that is inconsistent with our district bullying policy.
This morning, educators and I met with all Zeman fifth graders to clarify and provide accurate information about the expectations we have of students at Lincoln Public Schools and at Zeman regarding bullying situations. A few examples follow:
Again, we apologize for the miscommunication and anxiety this caused for our fifth grade families. For valuable information you can check the link on our webpage where you will find “The Facts About Bullying”.
If you have further concerns please call me at 402-436-1169.
Seriously, what kind of person sat down to write that list and thought it appropriate? And what kind of administrator proofed it and then approved it for release?
Kids, all ages, are being bullied to the point of attempting suicide, or actually committing suicide, and someone at Zeman Elementary thought it best to victimize the victims.
Nicely done. Asshats.