A school in Lincoln, Nebraska is wiping some major egg off its face after a horrible bullying advice flyer was sent home with kids.
Zeman Elementary School fifth-graders were recently sent home with a flyer to help teach them how to act if they're being bullied. It's more shitty than you can possibly ever imagine. Here's just a few of the highlights:
- Rule #7: Do not tell on bullies. The number one reason bullies hate their victims, is because the victims tell on them. 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?
- Rule #8: Don't be a sore loser.
- Rule #9: Learn to laugh at yourself and not get "hooked" by put-downs. Make a joke out of it or agree with the put-down. For example: "If you think I'm ugly, you should see my sister!"
Were these rules written by Kim Jong-il before he died? That's the only reasonable explanation for how this kind of bullshit could exist. "Do not tell on bullies" might be the most terrifying, stupid thing I've ever seen a school try and impose on young minds. I can't even bother with a line-by-line breakdown of what's wrong with all of the points in this flyer, because honestly I think all of you are way too smart for that. Just like I don't have to tell you what a serious issue bullying is and how awful the consequences can be.
These "rules" shouldn't be labeled as advice for dealing with bullies. They should be called "Ways We Can Get You Goddamn Kids to Act So We Never Have to Deal With Your Problems Ever." Also—did no one at this school give a second thought to the fact that children might read these rules and think this is how they should deal with bullies in their home life? Is someone in your family verbally or physically abusing you? Laugh it off! Make a joke about how ugly your sister is!
Don't worry though, after being inundated with outraged parents, the school district responded and apologized, with a portion of a letter written by the school's principal:
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.
Some parents (unsurprisingly) are completely unsatisfied with this response written by a public information officer probably making six figures a year to cover the school's ass. Parents chimed in to remind the school that a Facebook post which requires the same effort as me telling people I got new lawn chairs isn't really good enough:
Ok so parents got a letter. Good start, but not the most important aspect of this! My question is: What have the students who were given bad information been told? Have they all been instructed that this was bad information and been given good information? Or is that being left to the parents?
Yes, this is the only time when the phrase "what about the children?" isn't actually all that eye-roll inducing. The district responded to parents on Facebook, stating that teachers and counselors will be addressing the issue in the future.
But perhaps the best response to the whole ordeal belongs to one Facebook participant: "1970 called, they want their flier back."