“Let’s bash him! Let’s bruise him! Or even ‘SCHNOOZE’ him,” three bullies yelled.
“What does ‘SCHNOOZE’ mean?” one of them asked.
“I don’t know. Let’s do it anyway,” another boy said.
A voice roared like a lion, “STOP!”
Danny noticed the bullies looked startled by the brave girl. Next thing he knew, they ran away. Danny was really glad. He was tired of being pushed around by those ‘RAMBO-JAMMERS.’
Hey, how come that girl helped me? he wondered. Was it because there were three against one? Why? Why did she do it?
Danielle and Danny became good friends after that. They talked about what happened. And wondered how they could help their school. They decided to begin a Friendship Club. This might put a stop to those “MEENIE-BEENIES.”
They liked going to East Court Road School in Bible Hill, Nova Scotia. After the last bell, they hurried home to speak with their parents.
“We think it’s a great idea,” they said, “to have a club that goes around helping children. It could also build up school spirit.”
Danielle and Danny’s parents cancelled their own plans for Saturday afternoon and took the children to the park for a lovely picnic. Later, they headed to the DQ for ice cream sundaes.
How come their parents were so kind? The children wondered quietly to each other. What did they do to deserve this special treat?
The next day, Danielle and Danny left early to share their ideas with their homeroom teacher.
Mrs. White was quite excited. “Would you allow the whole class to join the Friendship Club?” she asked.
Mrs. White promised them time during class to discuss plans. She even volunteered to be secretary.
As a class they decided members of the Friendship Club had to follow three Rules:
"Why did Mrs. White’s class care so much for other students? Why did they think they could change anything?” Danny whispered to Danielle during the meeting.
“Because some call it friendship,” she said, giving Danny a full toothy smile.
The Friendship Club had grown to twenty-five students who worked like hungry alley cats. They wanted their school to be the best place in town.
Danny noticed other changes happening at East Court Road School. On the playground he saw some of the Friendship Club in action.
“Aha,” Alyssa said when she spotted Tony the troublemaker. “We must make friends with him,” she told her classmate, Rachel. “He doesn’t have a dad. And his older sister has no patience with him.”
“Why did they make friends with Tony?” One of the kids asked Danny. “He’s just a problem child,” others said.
“Why?” replied Danny, “because some call it friendship.”
A few Friendship Club students were still called names. Like, “Nosey.” Or, “Angel-Puffs.” Also, “Snippy-Snoopers.”
“Names and Faces can’t hurt us,” members of the Friendship Club called back.
Kids on the playground told the Friendship Club member to “Buzz Off” or, “Mind Your Own Business.” But the students of Mrs. White’s class didn’t give up easily. They continued to roam the hallways looking for ways to cheer people up.
The Friendship Club encouraged everyone to keep the school clean and tidy. “Garbage and nasty language are a ‘No-No’ ” they often said.
After awhile Danny noticed other classrooms were interested in forming their own Friendship-Class Clubs. They even asked their parents to join.
“Maybe we can visit some of the families,” one mom said. “And help babysit their small children.”
“Or I can tune their car up,” another dad added. “In case they don’t have enough money to go to an auto- mechanic.”
Danny wondered why did parents get involved? Why did they care what happened in their community?
Some call it friendship, he thought with a smile.
One Friday morning, everyone gathered in the auditorium. The Principal of East Court Road School shouted into the microphone, “We are gathered here to declare today now belongs to the East Court Road School Friendship Club!”
Two hundred adults and children whistled and clapped. They stamped their feet and gave each other high-fives.
The Truro Mayor was the guest speaker. “This school and community is a better place,” he said, “because of what Danielle and Danny began---The Friendship Club!”
The auditorium erupted with more clapping. Even the children who once were bullies cheered from their seats.
“Why did they care?” whispered Danny to Danielle.
“Because now,” Danielle whispered back,” we’re all FRIENDS!”
Bullying has always been around no matter where you live. Children are usually victims and this story is one way good friends dealt with encouraging others to care about each other.
© 2008-17 Esther and Richard Provencher