There's this girl that goes to my school... we'll call her Julie (because that's her name ;) ). Anyway, Julie seems pretty nice, but on Monday, during recess, an older girl started picking on her. Then the girl's friends joined in. It wasn't a good sight at all. The one girl took Julie's lunch bag, and she and her friend started playing keep away with it, tossing it back and forth over Julie's head. Julie got upset and tried to grab it back, but they were too tall and fast for her. Since then, they have been mocking Julie all week. I wanted to say something to them and make them stop, but I was scared of those sixth graders. I'm much shorter than the bullies (okay, so I'm a shrimp). Paige was scared too, even though she is the tallest fifth grade girl.
Paige's mom is a teacher at my school, so after school, we told her about what happened. Ms. Shepherd said we did the right thing to tell her, because she can talk to the bullies' teachers about what these girls are doing, but there is something else we should have done. She said we should have been better bystanders. That means that if we see something bad happen, like bullying, we should do our best to help the person who is being picked on, by telling the playground monitor when it's happening so she can stop it. Ms. Shepherd said that when she and Paige moved here, I was a good bystander by reaching out to Paige and being a friend when other kids were teasing Paige about being the new girl. She said we should do the same for Julie now. Paige and I agreed that we need to be brave and stand up for our classmate.
Julie is in our art class, so today Paige and I sat by her. We talked all while we were working on our art projects. We are making kites with streamers. Julie's kite is so beautiful. It's an orange and red dragon kite with gold glitter on it. It looks as if it could really breathe fire. Paige told her that she liked her kite, and asked how she learned to make such pretty things. I complimented her kite too, and it turns out that Julie's mom is an artist! That's so cool. My kite was supposed to be a beautiful fish, but it looks more like a fish that was already in a tuna can. Paige's kite is pretty good though, I have to admit. It's dark blue with the moon and stars painted on it. Julie invited us to see her mother's art studio on Saturday. She told us her parents are divorced. Paige's parents are divorced too, so they have something in common. She also has an older sister. I have two older brothers, and it turns out my brother, Charlie and Julie's sister are in the same grade! We had a great time together in art, but Julie also said that the bullies don't just tease her at recess. They also pick on her on the bus. We felt sorry that Julie was going through that. I put my hand on her shoulder and told her we would play together at recess, and if anyone bothered us we would stick together.
Then, recess came. The moment of truth. Paige got a ball from the recess shed, and we played four square. It was so much fun. We were having a great time, until the bullies started to approach Julie. Paige and I stood our ground and stood next to our new friend. They started teasing Julie, and I told them to leave us alone or we would tell the playground monitor. They laughed and called me a baby.
Paige turned to them and said; "My friend is not a baby. Please leave us alone."
The biggest girl laughed and said; "Who's going to make us?"
Then they tried to grab our ball from Julie, but a shadow fell over them. They turned around with a look of shock. It was Mrs. Harkness, the world's toughest sixth grade teacher, who happens to be the playground monitor this week. They were caught red handed! The bullies have lunch detention tomorrow and Monday.
It felt good to stand up for someone else, and now Paige and I have a new friend!