Parents across the United States are taking notice about what their schools are teaching regarding bullying after Zeman Elementary fifth graders in Lincoln, Nebraska, were given flyers to teach them how to act if they are bullied.
The poorly written list of rules took parents by surprise and after the incident went viral the school apologized saying it was "a great learning experience for all."
The school's official response to the flyer on Facebook says, "Our educators at Zeman Elementary School work hard to provide accurate and appropriate lessons and education for our students in how to handle bullying situations. The flyer 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.
We encourage all students and parents to continue to communicate with our staff if you have any questions or concerns about bullying situations. We apologize for any problems or confusion this has caused for students and families."
The school says they added a link to their webpage on “The Facts About Bullying,” which contains their new stance and best advice for parents. It is a great lesson for all parents across the U.S. to pay close attention to what your children are being taught. The Rules of Bullying written by Brooks Gibbs has been teaching students at school how to handle bullies from his point of view, which isn't what parents believe their children should be taught.
Bullying Rule #1
"Refuse to get mad.
Anger is a feeling we have towards our enemies, not our buddies. When you get mad you are treating them like the enemy. Besides, if he/she can get you angry, you become a puppet and the bully controls you."
Bully Rule #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 are really helping you. (This does not mean you have to believe what they tell you.)"
Bullying Rule #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 a stronger position, and you automatically lose, and since the bully wants to keep winning, they will continue doing things to make you feel afraid."
Bullying Rule #4
"Do not verbally defend yourself.
We defend ourselves against enemies, so we are treating the other person as the enemy not a friend. When one person attacks an the other is the defender, the attacker is in the stronger position, so the defender is automatically the loser. If we defend, we lose."
Bullying Rule #5
"Do not attack.
We attack enemies. If I attack you back, I am treating you like an enemy. It takes two people to fight, so the person who retaliates or responds who actually starts the fight."
Bullying Rule #6
"If someone physically hurts you, just show you are hurt, but do not get angry.
If someone hurts you, you want them to feel sorry for you and apologize. If you get angry they won't feel sorry."
Bullying Rule #7
"Do not tell on bullies.
The number one reason bullies hate their victims is because the victim tells on them. Telling makes the bully want to retaliate. Tell an adult when a real injury or crime (theft of something valuable) has occurred.
Would we keep our friends if we tattled on them?"
Bullying Rule #8
"Don't be a sore loser.
No one wants to be a sore loser. Would you like to play with someone who gets all upset when they lose? Lose gracefully and be a good sport. Kids will like you better."
Bullying Rule #9
"Learn to laugh at yourself, and don't 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."
"I've known that for a long time."
"Thanks for noticing."
"You're right, and its going to get worse!"
"If you think I'm a nerd, you should see my dad."