LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska school principal has apologized for sending fifth-grade students home with a flier that advises those who are bullied to not tattle on their tormentors.
Some parents of the fifth-graders at Zeman Elementary in Lincoln complained and posted angry comments on Facebook, the Lincoln Journal Star reported Thursday.
Zeman principal Donna Williams apologized directly to the families on Wednesday for the wording of the flier, and the district posted the apology on its Facebook page.
“The flier was sent home with good intentions,” said Williams. “Unfortunately it contained advice that did not accurately reflect LPS best practices regarding response to bullying incidents.”
District student services director Russ Uhing said the LPS philosophy is: Ask the bully to stop. Walk away. If the bullying continues, tell a parent or teacher.
On the contrary, the flier advises that students should not tell on bullies because the No. 1 reason “bullies hate their victims is because the victims tell on them.
“Telling makes the bully want to retaliate,” it says. “Tell an adult only when a real injury or crime (theft of something valuable) has occurred. Would we keep our friends if we tattled on them?”
District spokeswoman Mary Kay Roth said the flier was not approved for distribution and was mistakenly included in folders of student work sent home with the fifth-graders on Tuesday.
“It’s a staff issue, so we’re taking care of the staffing error,” Roth said. “It wasn’t supposed to be sent home.”