Here's a story you may have heard before. It's about a teacher who was telling her class about bullying and gave them an exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up, but not to rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty it was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry.
Sometimes a child who is bullied will later receive apologies, but the damage is done. In this exercise, even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bully’s another child - they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever.
Hardly a day goes by when I don't see something about bullying. The It Gets Better Project has done some amazing videos aimed particularly at lgbt youth. Let me be clear though. While gay kids are so often the targets of bullies, ALL bullying is bad. We need to get rid of it ALL.
The kids in that classroom learned an important lesson. The looks on the faces of the children told their teacher that the message had indeed hit home. I hope this hits home with all of you too! Last week I wrote each day here about bullying, because it is important. WE can make a difference. Bullying must STOP!