Don Pugh


I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you again on behalf of TED, treating everyone decently in the High School. Our message a fortnight ago was to treat everyone equally.Today, weíre saying, donít be a bully.Most of us can recall bullying others occasionally. Even popular kids with leadership skills are sometimes thoughtless. But serious bullying is ongoing, picking on those who areshy or different and least able to defend themselves.It involves calling kids names, excluding them, demanding money, spreading rumours or threatening them.There are many reasons for it, to be popular and powerful, being scared, or unhappy, and believing itíll make them fit in.It comes from being spoiled; learning that you can do anything you want, even hurt others. It comes from TV, movies and video games where so called heroes hit other guys to get what they want.†† Itís the big strong guy scaring the weaker, making them do something they donít want to do.


Bullying makes kids miserable, messing up their schooling, family life, friendships and even physical health.†† But bullying is also harmful to the bullies.Bullies are disliked and looked down on. This school keeps records on bullying, rings parents and suspends bullies.Parents may contact local police. The trouble often returns to the bully putting their reputation and schooling at risk.


Once bullies establish a pattern of behaviour itís hard for them to change because everyone expects them to act that way.But bullying is harmful and must stop.Talking to a good teacher or counsellor who listens does help students learn other ways to solve problems and handle feelings. If you enjoy thinking about being mean or violent to other people, act now and get help.†† It takes real guts to seek help and change. Remember, itís always best to treat others the way that you like to be treated yourself. Make this school a safe and friendly environment.


Now for fun, hereís a role play. Lindsey is visiting the psychologist.


Lindsey:Don, All the kids hate me.They call me names and I bash them as hard as I can.Iím so angry I just lose control and canít stop.Then I get into trouble, though itís the other kids teasing me that makes me do it.Itís so unfair, and I donít know what to do.


Counsellor Don: Youíre really discouraged. It must seem that everyone is out to get you. Perhaps you do things to other kids to make them dislike you?


Student:Yes, I do mouth off and swear at them at times, but only because other kids tease me first.Everyone expects me to be a bully. Iím fighting with my brother too and mum picks on me when my brother and I fight.She always blames me for fighting.


Counsellor Don: You seem pretty down because things arenít going well at home or school.Often we make ourselves angry by thinking everyone is against us while ignoring what we do to others.Iíd like you to keep a record of what you say to other kids before these disputes start and weíll talk about triggers.I want you to take deep breaths as well when youíre getting angry, tell yourself to be calm and then go and talk to someone in student services before you lose it.


Lindsey: Yes, maybe I do say annoying things and then get aggro.Iím glad I came to talk.