MAXIMize the Moment Junior Volume 2, Issue 4
"Chris, time to get up. You're going to be late for school."
"I don't think I can go to school today. I'm not feeling well," I say, hoping she'll believe me.
But my mom doesn't fall for it. She senses that, even though I'm feeling bad, it's not a stomachache, or a fever, or even being really tired. It's Johnny. He's been at it again. Yesterday at lunch, he kept calling me "Chris the Creep" and all of the other kids laughed at me. I hate it when he picks on me. I wish he'd just disappear. Or even that I could disappear.
My mom gives me a big hug. "You deserve respect-from others and from yourself," she says, "Don't be ashamed of who you are! I once heard that 'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.' I know that's a lot of big words, so I'll explain a little. 'Inferior' means less important someone else. 'Consent' means saying that it's OK. So, what that quote means is that no one can make you feel small and unimportant unless you give him or her the right to. Johnny shouldn't be saying those things about you. It's awful. But you need to remember that the opinion of someone so cruel is not worth your time. He feels big because he's made you feel small. Don't give him that power anymore. He doesn't deserve your time or energy."
I'm not sure that I'm totally ready to ignore Johnny's bullying, but my mom has made me realize that I want to. I deserve to be treated more respectfully than that. Like Mom said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Well, I won't consent to it any more!
- "No one can make your feel inferior without your consent."
Featured character trait
- Respect - I realize that I am a good and worthy person and that I should be treated with fairness and kindness.
- Character points (for substitution if this week's trait isn't one of your school's core values):
- Leadership - I am able to take charge and try to be a good example.
- Kindness - I treat others with the care and concern they deserve.
- Courage - Even when it is difficult, I do what is right.
- Character - I have the strength to live out my beliefs.
Discussion starters / journal writing prompts
- Does today's story seem like something that would happen at our school?
- Why do you think that Johnny treated Chris like that?
- How do you think that Chris feels when people treat him cruelly?
- What are some ways that Chris could confront Johnny?
- What do you think it means to respect others? How do respectful people behave?
- What are some ways that you have to be respectful in your life today?
- Since most people know how bad it feels to be picked on, why don't they do more? Why do people let teasing and bullying happen?
- How could other people have helped Chris deal with Johnny? What might they say to convince Johnny to be kinder to Chris?
- Sometimes people think that being brave is about being the biggest and the strongest. Do you think that is a good definition?
- Do you think that Johnny is courageous? Why or why not?
- List some examples of people who you consder to be "courageous" and explain your choices.
- List some examples of acts of courage that you have witnessed at this school. What was brave about those actions?
- Bullying at School
- Anti-Bullying Network
- Bullying in Schools and What to Do About It
Extending the Conversation
Set aside time and do a role-play about bullying. Use this time to come up with real, concrete ways that students can deal with bullying. During the course of the role-play, have the participant switch roles, so they can feel what it's like to be in both people's shoes. To involve more than just the first two volunteers and to keep the flow of new ideas going, you may choose stop the action at various points and substitute one student for another. Be sure to process the activity and ask the participants how it felt to be the person being picked upon.
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