Words Can Heal


Bullies and Popular Kids

Who is the most popular kid in the world? Harry Potter, of course! But it was not always so. Remember back to the beginning of the story . . .

Harry was a nerdy sort of fellow. He was small and skinny, and he wore broken glasses and clothes that didn’t fit. He was neither handsome nor athletic nor witty.

His cousin Dudley Dursley bullied him constantly. Dudley and his best friend Piers had a favorite hobby: hitting Harry. During school vacations, Dudley, with the help of his gang of friends, enjoyed his “favorite sport: Harry Hunting.” They would chase Harry, and, if they caught him, beat him up.

At school, Harry had no friends. “Everybody knew that Dudley’s gang hated that odd Harry Potter in his baggy old clothes and broken glasses, and nobody liked to disagree with Dudley’s gang.”

Of course, Dudley was a bully who was easy for us to hate. He was fat, stupid, and obnoxious. How would our feelings toward him change, however, if we did an overhaul on Dudley? Let’s trim forty pounds off him and make him handsome and athletic. Let’s raise his I.Q. by forty points and make him clever and amusing.

But he’s still picking on nerdy Harry. Would we still find him obnoxious?

All bullies are obnoxious, even if they are:

Discussion Questions for Your Family or Classroom:

1. What is the definition of a bully?
Possible answer: Someone who, either alone or with the help of others, using actions or words, hurts another person who cannot, because of physical or social reasons, defend herself or himself.

2. What can I, as an individual, do to stop the bullying in my school?
Possible answers:

3. What can my classmates do as a group to stop bullying in our school?
Possible answers:

Declare every bully a persona non grata. Everyone wants to be popular. If kids know that teasing or ostracizing a classmate will cause their own popularity to plunge, no one would be willing to pay the social price of picking on others.

A couple decades ago, the subway system in New York City was plagued by gangs of roving juvenile delinquents, who would mug anyone who rode the subway late at night. A group of kids - from the same underprivileged background as the muggers - got together and decided to protect the subway passengers. Calling themselves the “Guardian Angels,” these kids made the New York subways safe again.

Source: Brought to you by www.verticalresponse.com Visit www.WordsCanHeal.org for more ideas on how to heal with words. And spread the word! Send this message out today -- together we can make a difference!

Related Issue: Bully Prevention Pledge - Students

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