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How do you defeat a bully?

To consider the best way to deal with bullying behaviour.

by The Revd Guy Donegan-Cross

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To consider the best way to deal with bullying behaviour.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a toy of some kind of ‘villain’, e.g. Darth Vader, a robot.
  • Some kind of safe shooting game, e.g. a rubber bow and arrow, or alternatively a soft ball to throw.
  • Some small prizes.

Assembly

  1. Ask for two volunteers to come up and play a game. Put the ‘villainous’ toy on a table and ask the volunteers to take turns in trying, from a distance, to knock it off its perch (aiming away from the rest of the children!), either with your shooting mechanism or a soft ball. Award small prizes.
  2. Point out that when we know we have an enemy, or a bully, we often think we can sort them out by getting them back, having revenge. This, however, is not the best way. Ask the children how you can defeat an enemy. Value all answers and then ask them to consider these words of Abraham Lincoln: The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.
  3. How do you do that? Tell this story.

    A pilgrim (a seeker after truth) journeyed far to meet a wise man. When he arrived, he came upon a strange scene. The old man was standing in a shallow river trying to rescue a scorpion that had fallen into the water. The man would pick up the scorpion, which would sting him. The man would jerk his hand away and the scorpion would fall back into the water. Whereupon the man would lift the creature out of the water again and be stung again. When the scorpion was finally safely on land, the pilgrim asked the old man why he kept picking up the scorpion when it kept stinging him. The master said, ‘Just because it is the scorpion’s nature to sting me, it doesn’t mean I should give up my nature to help.’
  4. In the Bible we read that Jesus turned an enemy into a friend. Jesus was hurt and then crucified by soldiers. But on the cross he said to God: ‘Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.’ And one of the soldiers, a centurion, stood there and realized the truth: ‘Surely this man was the Son of God.’
  5. Conclude with the following: Don’t become a bully to defeat a bully. Ask the children to listen to (and/or repeat with you) this quote from Martin Luther King: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
  6. If appropriate, refer to the school’s anti-bullying policy and make the point that by involving adults you will be helping both the bullied and bully.

Time for reflection

Reflection

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Do you know someone who is being badly treated by another pupil? How can you help? Who should you talk to?

 

Prayer

Dear God,

Thank you that light can grow out of darkness

and that love can grow out of hatred.

Amen.

Song/music

‘From the darkness came light’ (Come and Praise, 29)

Publication date: January 2008   (Vol.10 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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