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October 7, 2011

Crumpled Paper and Bullying...



I was watching Regis and Kelly yesterday morning. Kelly was talking about being on a panel at Rutgers University (the night before) as a part of an AC360 (Anderson Cooper) special about bullying.

After she explained what it was all about, she added that her kids go to a very "progressive" school and recounted a lesson by one of the teachers at that school. The following is paraphrased based on my limited recollection and does contain a little artistic license:

"The teacher gave each student a clean crisp sheet of paper. She then instructed the class to crumble up the piece of paper, toss it around, get angry with it, and stomp on it.

After which, she told the students to return to their seats (with their piece of paper), flatten it out on the top of their desks, making it as flat and perfect as they can, and finally, apologize to the paper.

When all the students had done their best to iron out the paper and apologize to it, the teacher picked up the paper on the first classmates desk, held it up so the entire class could see it and said:

If this piece of paper had been another person, and you had done all those things to him or her, by making them feel less than perfect (through your words or actions), these are the scars you would leave. That person would never be the same, no matter how many times you tell them you are sorry, no matter how many times you try to smooth things out..."

What a great way to make a point. While I am a firm believer in the "It gets Better" campaign, wouldn't it be so much better if we all learned this lesson beforehand? I think even most of out politicians can learn from this too...

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA

ps: If you liked this please leave a comment or click on "Home" above and read more of my story... and thanks to ocalamom.com for including a gay man's website link to your stories...

9 comments:

Trickle Down BS said...

If that teacher came up with that idea it has to be recognized as a very clever way of making a point. Unfortunately, the hatred being spewed from the pulpit and those politicians who cooperate with them don't even make it possible for that paper to be crumpled and stomped on...they not only destroy it outright but also demand that our government puts its seal of approval on their option to crumple and stomp.
It only gets better if the paper is made out of some other material like plastic that can bounce back up...(using same analogy) and that is what pride is about...making that paper into something else made of a resilient material that can withstand the rigors of bullying.

Bob said...

What an excellent way to teach about the effects of bullying.
Amazing.

Bill Dameron said...

Such a visual and inciteful way of showing what bullying does. Thank you for sharing this.

Jay M. said...

Cool story. Thanks for posting it!
Peace <3
Jay

UP said...

As a bullied child, this is great!

UP

BosGuy said...

That is a brilliant lesson and story. I hear what Raulito says in his comment above about alternate sources such as churches and politicians sending contradictory messages, but this is poignant all the same and it will resonate.

the island guy said...

Thanks for posting this!
Love the symbolism of the crumpled paper :)

Anonymous said...

Living life with no "I'm sorry" is a wonderful path! I'm in...

Anonymous said...

i was a bullyied child this touched me i am doing a speach for my highschool forensics team about bullying and its effects i will be using this story as my opener

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