Monday his homework was torn into shreds.
Tuesday it took him an hour to come home.
And he said:
I found another route.
Wednesday his jacket was ripped and maimed.
Thursday he needed a very big snack.
And he claimed:
I lost my lunch money.
Friday he limped and had blood on his knee.
Saturday he wouldn’t answer the phone.
He told me:
I want to be alone.
Sunday he’s lying awake in his bed.
Monday’s tomorrow. I won’t go, he says,
Full of dread:
I won’t go back to school.
Day after day, many things were amiss.
He needs to tell me or I cannot help.
I ask this:
Please, can I help you, son?
by Andrea Wilson
Topics For Discussion:
- Often bullying incidents are surrounded by a shroud of secrecy. Why is this?
- The parent in the poem has recognized signs that his/her child is being bullied. What other clues might indicate this?
- The parent wants to help. Should the child confide in his parents?
- Sometimes another person who is aware of the situation needs to tell an adult, but children learn from a young age that being a “tattle-tale” is being a traitor.
- What is the difference between tattling and telling? When is it the right thing to do? (Tattling gets the person in trouble. Telling gets the person out of trouble)
- Divide the blackboard into two columns. Brainstorm two corresponding lists: What the parent could do to help the child. What would make the situation worse?
- Imagine a short scenario which ends with someone telling an adult about what has transpired. The class takes a vote on whether this is tattling or telling. This can be done verbally or on paper.