It was just an ordinary day at my old school in Queens, but at recess I wanted to go to play on the jungle gym.
There were kids in my class who started shouting, “You can’t be here!” I have to admit it made me nervous. The playground is for everyone, but I guess it was not for me.
Then came along my friend Wahine. When he got bullied by kids shouting at him as well, I finally cracked. I said, “I’m not afraid of you.” And then Wahine also yelled back: “I’m not afraid of you!” I added: “You’re not the boss of us!”
Then they left! It worked! It worked because we stuck together and didn’t let those playground bullies push us around. Wahine and I got to play where we wanted to, and the bullies never bothered us again. All we had to do was stand up for ourselves.
We know we were lucky because the bullies could have gotten mean, but we were ready to talk to adults, too, if things got bad.
Michele Lambraia and Dara Perlow’s fourth-grade class, George Washington Elementary School, West Hempstead