Make A Decision To Take A Stand... Respond With Courage to Bullying

Hi Everyone! (Parents & Kids),

I wanted to share a story with you about a little incident that still makes me proud of a decision I made despite the consequences.

Back in the 5th grade, I was apart of the JPO (Junior Police Officer) Squad.  This group at our elementary school was responsible for carrying the stop signs to control traffic before and after school.  We were the cross walk monitors that allowed students to walk across the street to the school grounds safely.

On one particular day while we were putting away our safety vests and stop signs away before classes started, one of our fellow JPO members named Dan was behaving in a very inappropriate BULLYING manner to one of the girl members Ashlyn was about in tears.  He was messing with her and her safety vest he would not allow her to put it away, so we all could get to class on time.

I made a decision... stepped in and told him to quit what he was doing and leave her alone.

Before I move on with the story, let me describe myself at that time.  I was this skinny little thing, looks that would not intimidate a flea, I wore glasses, sort of a wimpy kid look about me.  I was a very quite kid an introvert.

In our fourth grade year, my best friend at the time Anthony and I had a run in with Dan.  We would always try to avoid him, but Dan would search us out.  He would corner us as we were walking home through town - call us names, push us around, threaten to harm us.  He intimidated us as a bully would.  We had the numbers, but neither Anthony or I responded back with violence.  This went on for a few weeks that year until Dan got tired of us and moved on to new targets.

We were afraid... we did not know how to handle the situation.  We never told our parents. We kept it to ourselves.

Back to the story, something inside of me said, "Enough!"

I was tired of standing on the sidelines watching someone else getting bullied.  So I stepped up, stepped in front of Dan and said, "QUIT!  LEAVE HER ALONE!"

He stepped up, we were now chest to chest. Dan says, "So what are you going to do about it!"

I responded back with, "I am tired of you picking on everyone, you wanna fight?  After school, I'll take you on!"

I could not believe what I said,  I stood there shaking, but somewhat relieved, I made a decision to Stand Up, and Stand Strong against this bully.

The word got back to our teachers that a fight was planned for after school that day.  

The fight never happened.

Dan and I were called into the school principals office after lunch.  We were both released from the JPO squad.  I never did have any problems with Dan again.

Thinking back about it...I handled the situation wrong, in that I challenged Dan to a fight.  However, I am very proud that I stood up for someone else and accepted my release from the JPO squad.

We were very fortunate that the principal had intervened and the fight never occurred. 

Fighting- causing physical and emotional harm to one another is never the answer.  But sometimes, we must draw a line in the sand and say, "Enough is Enough!"  

We need to reach deep down inside of us and find the COURAGE to let the other person know..."NO More!"

We need to make a CHOICE, make a DECISION, that we are going to STAND UP & STAND STRONG to wrongful, and inappropriate behavior.

Let's help our kids to make a choice to become STRONGER, to prepare themselves for these everyday situations.  

These skills are as important as learning to read, to write and do arithmetic.

Remember To: Radiate Confidence, Exhibit Courage, and Exemplify Character.

Live Fearless!

Mr. Jerome Nojima

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