Children tease each other all the time. Most of the time, they are harmless jokes. However, when the teasing becomes a pattern, it creates a lot of social problems and can easily get out of hand to become a bullying issue. As most of you know that I am such a no nonsense straight shooter with a bit of a twisted sense of humour in me. So, here is a funny incident happened last Friday.

I was on a yard-duty before the school started. Most of the students at this time were usually hanging out in the school yard. Different grade levels tend to hang out with their own respective group. The grade two and three boys have been heavily into basketball, so they like to hang out and play by the basketball net. Some of the older boys like to get involved occasionally and grab their ball just to torment them.

On this particular day, Abdulla came to me suddenly with a scowling face to report an encounter he had with two grade 5 boys. He explained that the boys were bugging him for his soccer ball because he left his soccer ball unattended under the basketball net. They told him that they would give him “3000 boogers” to trade for his soccer ball.

Now, we are dealing with kids here, so it is pretty gross for a little guy to hear that. Plus, this is not a new incident. Some of the little guys often have to put up with this type of nonsense jokes from the older boys. Plus, those two boys, though not considered as bullies at my school, are the usual suspects for enough share of schoolyard mischief.

I know they might be just teasing the little guys, but they surely needed to be taught a lesson. So, I told Abdulla that I would help him settle this matter but he needed to play along with me. He looked at me with a puzzled look, but then he smiled at me and agreed with an OK.

We slowly walked over to the other side of the yard where the grade 5 students were. I called out those two boys and said, “I heard that there is a trading going on. Apparently, you two boys would like to trade with Abdulla for his soccer ball with 3000 boogers. Well, I thought that is a pretty fair trade, so here is the ball. And, Abdulla and I would like to see those 3000 boogers right now!” I turned to look at Abdulla and said, “Right, Abdulla?” Abdulla showed a big grin from ear to ear and nodded.

The boys were stunned and looked at me like I was nuts. I said, “Come on, boys! Here is the ball. I am here to be the negotiator because I thought it is pretty hard to come up with 3000 of that gross stuff. I thought it is a fair trade. So, show me the boogers and here is your ball!”

Those two boys did not move at all. One of the boys sheepishly replied, “It was just a joke. We were joking with him.” I replied, “That is what I thought, too, but he obviously did not think it was funny at all. If you were simply joking with him, you should have told him after he and his friends got really grossed out by you.” I continued, “I am also joking with you, but I don’t see you enjoy my joke very much, either. Correct?”

The boys nodded and later apologized to Abdulla, and so, life moved on from there.

I later shared the story with those two boys’ teacher and my principal. Their teacher and others in the staff room got a kick out of that story because this is not the first time for those two boys. They like to be cool dudes going around to play jokes on others. It is about time for them to realize that they have to be careful when doing that to people they don’t know.

Most teachers would just let it go because it was considered as a harmless joke. Well, it was not their lucky day because I turned the joke on them! I don’t usually mind spending a little extra time to teach any students a lesson. As far as my principal’s reaction when I reported to her, she just laughed and said, “Only you would do that!”

Hahahaha…………………… Yes, only I would! It was not their lucky day!  

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My Corner for Education

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