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School sorry for bully rules that include 'don't tell on bully'

School officials in Nebraska are apologizing after sending 5th grade students home with an anti-bullying flyer that outraged parents.

The flyer that included anti-bullying tips such as:

  • Do not verbally defend yourself. We defend ourselves from enemies, so we are treating the other person as an enemy, not a friend.
  • Don't be a sore loser. No one likes a sore loser. Would you like to play with someone who gets all upset when they lose? Lose gracefully and be a good sport; kids will like you better.
  • Learn to laugh at yourself and not get 'hooked' by put-downs. Make a joke out of it or agree with the put-down. For example: 'If you think I'm ugly, you should see my sister!'
  • Do not tell on bullies. The number one reason bullies hate their victims, is because the victims tell on them. ... Tell an adult only when a real injury or crime has occurred. Would we keep our friends if we tattled on them?

Parents of the fifth-graders from Zeman Elementary School in Lincoln turned to social media to vent their rage.

Zeman Principal Donna Williams sent an electronic message to families apologizing for the flyer, and the district posted the apology on its Facebook page, but has since removed the post. (source)

A district spokeswoman told the Lincoln Journal Star that the initial flyer had not been approved and wasn't supposed to be sent home, but declined to explain how the flyer got printed several dozen times and distributed to the entire 5th grade without any adult having read it and finding it objectionable.

Pursuant to Nebraska law, Lincoln has an anti-bullying policy, which states that "Inappropriate behaviors, including but not limited to bullying, intimidation, and harassment, must be avoided by students and all staff," though it doesn't get into much detail beyond that. (source)

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