I remember encountering racist situations when I was in school. I didn’t know what to say or what to do. Should I call out the racism? Should I just walk away? I didn’t know how to help and I was frozen like a deer in headlights. And that’s why it’s important to give children a short statement they can use when they encounter racism and other forms of bullying. You can help students remember the statement with a simple whole group game.
Get a ball and have students sit in a circle. Describe a situation in which a schoolmate on the playground is being made fun of for the color of her skin. Explain that this kind of bullying is hurtful and if you see it you have the power to help. Have students memorize the phrase, “Those words are hurtful and we don’t use them.” Then the child can follow up by saying, “Let’s go play,” to help remove the schoolmate from the situation. Roll the ball to a child and have him repeat the statement using a firm voice. Then have him roll the ball back to you. Continue in the same way with the remaining children, and play the game every few weeks as a refresher.
This is great way to help children understand that they can be powerful allies for friends and classmates.