Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tolerance Awareness Tuesday - Bullying

Once a year, I join a group of police officers, victims advocates, social workers and school aides to visit the elementary schools in Sibley County to talk about bullying.

The first through fourth graders told me that bullying is more than pushing, hitting, pinching and biting. Bullying is calling names, not letting someone join the game, being mean.

Through skits (the one shown is a bus ride), the students watch a bullying situation and then talk about how it can be different - often if just one student says that the bully is "not nice".

Most of the schools have posters around that say bullying will not be permitted. These posters did not mention the word "tolerance", but they did say a lot about "respect".

When students respect their differences, they practice tolerance, in the true Masonic sense of the word.

We can learn a lot from fourth graders ...