Behavior study: Students break down the bully, victim & bystander

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, October 11, 2017

RESERVE — East St. John Preparatory Academy taught lessons on bully behaviors and prevention during September.

Counselor Jennifer Russell said the students thoroughly enjoyed the lessons, which began by listening to the lyrics of “Don’t Laugh at Me” and picking verses that stood out to the students such as “don’t call me names,” “don’t get your pleasure from my pain,” “we are all the same” and “someday we will all have perfect wings.”

After discussing what the verses meant to the students, Russell introduced the three parts of a bullying situation: the bully, the victim and the bystander, what each meant and the important role of a bystander.

Russell discussed what harassing behaviors looked like and how it can tear someone up on the inside, which led to her next activity.

“I held up one apple and let the students say sweet compliments and really anything uplifting and kind to this apple,” Russell said.

“Then I held up another apple that looked the same and asked the students to tell this apple cruel, insensitive comments.”

The students discussed how the two apples that looked the same on the outside might feel different on the inside and what kind of damage the words could have caused.

She then cut the apples open. The apple that the students were nice to was clean, fresh and juicy on the inside. The other apple was brown and bruised on the inside.

“The students really started to see what kind of damage their words can do to someone even though they can’t see it on the outside,” Russell said. “It was a great lesson.”

Newly appointed Judge E. Jeffrey Perilloux and officer Rafael Neil also spoke to fifth and eighth-grade students about bullying, the importance of getting a good education, making good life choices and how the criminal justice system works.