Every student should attend a school
where she feels safe and is able to learn. Unfortunately this is not always the case. If youíre tired of seeing trouble around you and doing nothing to help matters, itís time to at least consider how simple it can be to make things better.
Putting Up a Put Down
Too often students will insult another student, particularly when the target of the gossip or name-calling isnít around. In fact, put downs and ugly names have become so common in most places, you almost donít realize youíre saying something ugly unless your attention is called to the words leaving your mouth.
Help others realize what they are saying by canceling out the negative things they say with something positive. For example, if a group of girls are talking about a new student, stop for a moment and listen. One of the girls might say, ďDid you see what she was wearing today? What a loser!Ē
You can help the new girl out by simply jumping in and saying, ďI donít know Ė I really like her style. Itís totally different than the stuff the rest of us wear.Ē You donít have to stick around and argue after making a positive comment. Simple make the comment to give others an opportunity to agree with you rather than being forced to agree with the negative girl and then move on. The new girl might never even know what you did, but youíll know and your cheerful outlook on everything and everyone will soon be contagious.
With all the squabbles and fights that happen at school, Iíve always wondered why the kids canít just stop themselves before they reach the point of throwing punches and winding up with some serious consequences. Then I heard that most people donít actually want to fight Ė they just donít know how to get off the fighting track once they are on it. This is another area where you can be a big help. Simply distract the fighters to give them an opportunity to break it off without either one losing face.
You can distract them both by saying, ďI think I see the principal coming!Ē loudly and then grabbing your friends and moving off as if youíre trying to avoid trouble. Others will likely follow suit. If one of the potential fighters is a friend of yours, act totally unaware of the brewing fight and grab his arm to ask him a question about something totally unrelated. Pull him along with you chatting about an art project or whatever else comes to mind. You come off looking a bit like an airhead, but you get to pull your friend away from a really bad spot without making anyone look like they backed down.
One of the easiest things to do to make a difference in your school is to support the victims of others. Rally your group of friends around the cause and make it a point to reach out to those who have been mocked or left to fend for themselves. Invite the new girl to sit with you at lunch or walk with the girl who was just the target of cruel jokes in gym. Youíre not doing anything but providing silent support, but to someone whoís hurting that support can be tremendous.