A teacher in New York used the crumpled paper exercise to show her students the last impact that bullying can have.

She gave her kids take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up and stomp on it, but not to rip it. Then she asked them to careful unfold the paper and smooth it out. Some of the children remarked that it couldn’t be smoothed out and it was dirty and scared. She then asked them to tell the piece of paper that they were sorry for messing it up like that. Some of the students laughed feeling silly for talking to a piece of paper, but the point was made that even though they had apologized to the paper and tried to fix it, the scars would never go away no matter how hard they regretted what they’d done.

A simple way to show a child that bullies another, that saying sorry after they’ve been mean doesn’t heal the scars that may stay with that person forever.

Thank you to Tony Brent for recording the crumpled paper activity.

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