Nebraska Elementary School Tells Bullied Students to Suck it Up and Not Snitch

Zeman elm

A disturbing piece of news out of Lincoln, Nebraska where administrators at the Zeman Elementary School apparently thought it would be useful to send the above flyer home with students to help them deal with bullying.

Among the flyer’s gems of wisdom:

Treat the person who is being mean as if they are trying to help you. No matter how insulting or mean they may sound, be grateful and think they really care about you.

Do not verbally defend yourself. When one person attacks and the other person is the defender, the attacker is in the stronger position, so the defender is automatically the loser.

Do not tell on bullies. The number one reason bullies hate their victims is because the victims tell on them. Telling makes the bully want to retaliate. Tell an adult only when real injury or crime (theft of something valuable) has occurred.

Naturally, the s**t hit the fan when this flyer found its way to the internet. The school’s principal, Donna Williams, has issued a letter to parents and students now claiming it was all just a “miscommunication,” and that the district really does take bullying seriously.

Sounds like a violation of Rule #4 if you ask me…

[via Aksarbent]


  1. Jack M says

    The Administration is even more guilty of bullying than the students. If I were a parent and saw this, I’d be at the school so fast they wouldn’t have time to blink.

  2. JackFknTwist says

    If the author is either a teacher, an administrator or an employee in the school, such person should immediately be banned from having anything to do with children.

  3. Ready says

    This has to be a hoax.
    #6 – If someone physically hurts you, just show you are hurt; Do not get angry. If someone hurts you you want them to feel sorry and apologize. If you get angry, they won’t feel sorry.


    #9 – Make a joke out of it or agree with the putdown.
    “If you think I’m ugly – you should see my sister”

    I just can’t believe any school would condone this flyer. I say it’s a hoax.

  4. Will says

    It sounds like the person who wrote this was a bully themselves when they were in school and are recalling past experiences.

    These tips are disgusting and whoever wrote this shows a complete lack of empathy and judgment. I hate to call for somebody’s firing but whoever wrote this should not be teaching or administrating students.

  5. Jude says

    I doubt it’s a joke. Some hardcore conservative guys I know tease and essentially bully each other all the time, and they respond just as if they were following those “rules”. Maybe it’s some cultural thing that gets passed down.

    If so, then anti-gay people who follow this script should suck it up and stop complaining about gays wanting to shop at their establishments and such.

  6. Dback says

    I’ve been in classrooms for over 10 years now, and this smells to me like the opposite of “suck it up” manliness–it’s almost a passive, whiny, do-nothing, mealy-mouthed approach (“this is how we treat our enemies, not our friends”). It would be nice if all kids regularly held hands and sang “Kum By Yah” but that is not how the world works–some kids are flat-out mean (sometimes due to being abused themselves, poverty, manic-depression, etc.), and need careful coaching and boundaries–including a firm call-out: “Excuse me, we don’t bully others here.” But this reads to me like the administration just flat-out doesn’t want to deal with the subject (especially the bully’s parents), so they dump all the responsibility for “handling it” on the bullied kid. Glad I’m not working at this school.

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