Students learn to stand up to bullies, gain confidence

How to bully-proof your children

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- If bullies get away with bullying they'll keep coming back to those they have targeted.

So those that are targeted by bullies have to learn how to stand up for themselves and it starts by using their words.

Students at Gracie Jiu Jitsu, located in Louisville, are taught to stand up for themselves and look that bully in the eye and say, never call me that again.

Verbal assertiveness is one technique these students learn at this bully proof class.

It's not about starting a fight.  It’s best to avoid a fight at all costs.

Allan Manganello, who's also a Metro Police Officer, said it's about trying to change the channel with that bully.

But if words don't work--and it continues to escalate--there's a move called the power push.


Reece, a student, said that move has worked for him. The name calling stopped, and he felt empowered that he could take care of himself.

Students learning the move will break into groups to practice in case talking to their bully isn't enough.

It's part of the three T's: Talk, Tell and Tackle.

Before Third grader Savannah Coomes took this class, she tried to ignore her school bus bully. Her bully would grab her face, pull it toward her and then insult her.

Ignoring wasn't enough in that situation. This class taught her new strategies and she used them. Strategies like the Power Push and telling the bus driver.

Those two things seemed to work.

Manganello said that a sense of confidence with kids changes everything.

Talking and telling did work for Savannah but there are extreme cases, like if a bully throws a punch.

That's when you have to use the third T, tackle.

You don't hurt the bully, instead establish control and negotiate. Let them up when the bully agrees to leave you alone, even wiping the dirt off his or her back.

This class is personal for Manganello, he has all the right moves now, but didn’t as a child.

Manganello was always the new kid moving around, and certainly not the biggest growing up.

He learned self-defense to take care of his own bullies, and is now passionate to help others.

He is showing these students to stand up for themselves and stand up to a bully.


 


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