We took a break from our normal class routine and welcomed one of our fabulous school counselors into our room today. Our students participated in a lesson about bullying, their experiences with it, and how to be the one person who is going to help those who are being bullied. I loved how Mrs. B talked to the kids about the misuse of the word "bullying." We hear it so often; kids and adults do misuse the word. People are mistreated all the time and it's important to know the difference between mistreatment and bullying. The picture shows a quick survey students took about if they'd been bullied or mistreated at school this year. My heart broke as their hands went up, wishing I could be in all of their lives to help fix the situations they've been in. As a parent, it scares me to death to think my son will experience mistreatment in his life.
No one deserves it.
The most powerful part of the lesson, for me, was when each student described one of their experiences being bullied or mistreated in any realm of life; they followed up with what they wish someone had done for them in that time of need. The counselor read their experiences aloud and kept them anonymous and I'm telling you - you could hear a pin drop in the room. Students described being left out of groups, girls staring at others mocking their clothes, boys who were hurt after their friends teased them and said, "We're just playin'."
Everyone on the face of the planet wants love and acceptance. Hearing these stories absolutely broke my heart and reminded me of my own experiences with mistreatment and bullying. The kids who mistreated me have no idea that their words and actions still affect me as an adult.
Thinking about my son again, I hope my husband and I can teach him the importance of standing up for kids who are mistreated. I know it's so difficult to do, but it's so extremely important.