When it comes to schoolyard playgrounds, bullying is a common occurrence. Roughly 1 in 3 students report being bullied at school, with the largest number of cases occurring in the middle school years. The effects of this behavior are pronounced. After being bullied, students exhibit symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and decreased academic achievement.
Overall, it’s extremely harmful to a child’s psyche— so when this Georgia teacher discovered it was happening in her classroom, she knew she had to make it stop.
Kinsie Johns, a third-grade teacher at Arnette Winn Elementary School, was heartbroken to learn one of her students was being bullied.
The girl had been sporting a new hairstyle that had prompted a few mean comments from her peers. In an interview with Fox5 Atlanta, Johns explained:
“One of my students had begun to wear her hair in what is now referred to as ‘space buns’.”
“She wore her hair like this on Tuesday and by Wednesday, she was being called ‘space girl’.”
Johns couldn’t believe the behavior of her students and knew she had to help the student. After a bit of thinking, she came up with a plan. She was hoping to make the kids question their behavior; there’s never an excuse to be so rude.
When it was time for class the next day, the students were surprised when they saw their teacher.
Instead of her usual hairstyle, she was sporting funky space buns.
“She [the little girl] was beaming when she saw me, and the students noticed that our hair looked the same,” Johns recalled.
Upon seeing their teacher’s hairstyle, the students started asking questions. When they asked why she had styled her hair in that manner, she simply told them: “It’s okay to stand out and be different.”
Later, Johns snapped a photo of her and the little girl.
Upon uploading the picture to Facebook, she wrote:
“She told me yesterday that some students were making fun of her hair and picking on her. So, after a little planning with her and written reminder on my hand, today, we showed up with the same hair just to prove a point. It’s okay to be different.”
She also added the classic Dr. Seuss quote: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?!”
When people caught wind of Johns’ story, the teacher immediately went viral. Even better, however— other kids started showing solidarity too.
Teachers often ignore bullying in the classroom, so it’s refreshing to see a teacher stand up in such a unique way. People love that Johns helped teach the kids about bullying while also showing solidarity with the little girl. Comments on the video read:
“What an awesome teacher you are! So sweet of you! That’s what we do when we love our students so much!”
“That’s awesome— and probably a more important lesson you taught her than anything else in her day. Love it!”
“That’s awesome! More students need someone like you!”
Props to you, Mrs. Johns!
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