The Importance of Teaching the Dangers of Bullying - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/05/07 - Nacogdoches

The Importance of Teaching the Dangers of Bullying

by Donna McCollum

T.J.R.  Elementary students are vowing never to bully. Included are a few former self proclaimed bullies.   One 5th grade boy recalls some difficult times he had in pre-school.  " I just wanted to bully them, so I would go up to them and I would push them and I then, I kick on them. I'd tease them." Another petite, sweet looking girl confesses, " That's what I look like on the outside, but inside  I can get mean. Really. I have actually spread about four or five rumors about people because I didn't like them."

A four week course on the signs of bullying helped aggressive children become aware of their actions. And it provided some guidelines for the victims. Richard knows what to do if an adult isn't nearby if he finds himself face to face with a bully. " You really just stand up for yourself. You really try not to hit the person, just trying to say, 'Hey, don't do this.'"

Educators say bullies are at a greater risk of serious problems later in life. Judy May, with the Women's Shelter of Deep East Texas said, " By the time they are high schoolers it becomes dating violence. Then they get out and they get married or become involved and it becomes domestic violence."

Bullying can start with a simple and fun game of football, but it can also begin with taunting and hurtful words. Often this is what harms children more than anything." one child said, " Really bad because why would you want to hurt someone that hasn't done anything to you."

The bullying message comes complete with a mascot dressed in red silk boxing trunks, cape and black mask. The HERO mascot teaches the children the importance of helping, earning respect, rules, and how one can make a difference. Along the way they realize thinking about slugging someone is much better than actually doing it. Raeni said, " I wish I could though, but I'm vice president of the school, so I have to set a good example." And the sweet girl who spread rumors smiled and said,  " What you do comes around, yeah, it comes back to you."

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