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Using Karate Kid to Teach Kids About Bullying

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Recently, I was able to speak to a group of kids about bullying. Since the new Karate Kid movie was released over the weekend I used the characters in the movie to explain bullying. The group was made up of school age kids from first grade to fifth grade.

It was the first day of summer camp at the recreation center in Fort Worth, TX and the kids were fired up. Some of the kids were excited that I was there to speak to them and lay down the ground rules for the camp and staff. When it comes to young kids you never know if they fully understand the points that you are trying to get across.

After the presentation I had a small child come up to me and ask me a question about bullying and ask why people get scared of bullies. He obviously asked in a way where he was scared that he would one day be bullied by a  kid. I told him not to worry but if somebody hits you and don’t like the way you are being treated, I told him to report it to an adult. He smiled and went about his business.

I asked the children in attendence that day who saw the Karate Kid over the weekend about half of them did. This was good because in the movie, the character Dre was getting picked on by some Chinese kids, one in particular bullied him everywhere he went. Since bullying messes with a person’s psyche, Dre did some things that regular kids wouldn’t want to do, like learn kung fu. Turns out the reason why he wanted to learn was so that he can use it to defend himself against the school bullies in the movie.

That day I told the children that in reality, Dre should’ve told his mom or an adult at school. In fact there was a scene where Dre was about to tell a school official but decided not to tell. When it comes to the safety of the children, adults must create an environment where children always feel safe. School is supposed to be a place where learning occurs and when that is not happening, there must be change.