“The number one reason bullies hate their victims is because the victims tell on them,” the flyer reads. “Telling makes the bully want to retaliate. Tell an adult only when a real injury or crime (theft of something valuable) has occurred. Would we keep our friends if we tattled on them?”
That’s just one pearl of wisdom administration officials at the Zeman Elementary School in Lincoln, Nebraska gave fifth-graders in a pamphlet with nine tips on how to cope with bullies.
Here’s more of their brilliant advice:
Rule #1: Refuse to get mad.
Rule #2: Treat the person who is being mean as if they are trying to help you.
Rule #3: Do not be afraid.
Rule #4: Do not verbally defend yourself.
Rule #5: Do not attack.
Rule #6: If someone physically hurts you, just show you are hurt; do not get angry.
Rule #7: Do not tell on bullies.
Rule #8: Don’t be a sore loser.
Rule #9: Learn to laugh at yourself and not get “hooked” by put-downs.
In addition to these tips, the flyer also calls bullying victims “puppets” and “losers.”
Not surprisingly, parents are up in arms over the school’s “advice.” They began flooding the administration’s Facebook page with complaints.
“That list of 9 rules for dealing with bullies was hands down the worst advice any person could give to another,” one Facebook user wrote.
“1970 called, they want their flier back,” another person said.
This prompted Zeman Principal Donna Williams to send out an email apologizing for the flyer:
A flyer that contained inaccurate information regarding how to handle bullying situations was sent home with Zeman Elementary School fifth-graders. … 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 best practices regarding response to bullying incidents.
A new flyer with much sounder advice has since sent home with students, restoring peace within the Lincoln, Nebraska elementary school community.