November 9, 2011

Bullying and the Crumpled Paper Lesson... The View...

Today on "The View", Elisabeth (one of my least favorite of the hosts) Hasselback, re-counted the following lesson "from a NY teacher"... I prefer to give Kelly Ripa of "Live with Regis and Kelly" the credit for this story forever (although I would love to know the teacher's name, that came up with it originally).

While Elisabeth's segue seemed less meaningful than Kelly's, I do give her credit for bringing the story back up in her abbreviated form. Here is my original post based on Kelly's story of the teacher's lesson at her child's school.  Again it 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..."

Again, what a great way to share the 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? 

Thank you to all the bloggers, parents, and concerned citizens for linking back to my page for the original story... And thank you Kelly Ripa for sharing it with all of us...


Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA USA


Bob said...

What I like about this analogy, is that, oftentimes when people say something offensive, or bullying, and the apologize, we say, "You can't unring a bell."
This analogy shows that even with the apology, the damage has still been done.

PS I'd rather give Kelly credit, too.

Anonymous said...

Love this I think all preschool and elementary teachers should do this!! Am going to pass it along to some of the teachers I know. Thank you

Jacob Woods said...

I really enjoyed reading about this. Is such a great project to show how bullying has a negative effect on people.

BosGuy said...

Yes, I loved this and have shared it with some friends who teach elementary school here in the Boston area.

Andrew said...

That was honestly the best example for preventing bullying I have ever heard. Thanks for the post, I can't wait to share this with my friends.

John D. Nottingham EPS, PI, 6th Dan said...

I respectfully disagree and would ask you to reconsider. I wrote about it here:

Molly Kiegelis said...

What next? You showed the scarred paper... what do we do now? How can we help that paper?

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