One of the missions of our club is to make the school (and community) safer for students. After all, we all have the right to be who we are!Nevertheless, rude comments and discrimination are still an all-too-common occurrence. In an effort to combat bullying against those who are different, we have created some guidelines for handling insulting remarks. Just remember, when someone insults you or says something offensive, handle it with GRACE:
Get control of your emotions. Insults are meant to hurt someone psychologically. You cannot control the actions of someone else, but you can control yourself. Don't let anger get the best of you; it will only make the situation worse. The goal here is to show that someone did/said something offensive and move on.
Recognize that the comment was inappropriate. Say, "I really don't appreciate that comment" or "I find what you said/did very offensive".
Ask the person to explain his/her remark. Ask, "What did you mean when you said _____?", "Why did you say/do that?", or "What did you want to achieve by saying that?" Most times, when you ask the offending party why they said what they said, they will not be able to explain themselves. Insults often come from fear or ignorance and the bully may not realize that he/she has these feelings.
Come up with an alternative comment. Say, "You know, next time, instead of saying _____, maybe you could say _____. That way, no one will get offended and you get your point across." They might laugh at you or scoff, but they will understand your point of view and think twice about using that kind of language in the future.
End the conversation and walk away. You've given the bully something to think about and you don't want to cause more problems. Don't start a debate about word origins or civil rights. It is not the time nor is it the place. It's better to leave the situation and move on.Here is an example conversation to show how this might play out:Person A: Man, that test was so gay!Person B: I find that very offensive.Person A: What? That I said "gay"?Person B: Yes. What did you mean when you said the test was gay?Person A: Well, umm...I guess that I didn't like it. It was too difficult.Person B: You know, next time, instead of saying something is gay, maybe you could say that you just don't like it. That way, no one gets offended and we understand that you don't enjoy it.Person A: Whatever.[Person B walks away]Update: We recently designed several bookmark versions of GRACE. To view them, click on the following links Bookmark 1 Bookmark 2