Everyday Heroes

How This Teacher Used Apples To Teach Her Students About Bullying

I’m sure we’ve all seen the inside of an apple when it starts to get discolored and brown, whether it’s from bruising or exposure to the air. Well, last week, a teacher in the UK used two apples to teach her students about bullying—and how much our core (no pun intended) can be affected from it. And now, the story’s been going viral, and the teacher’s Facebook post about her lesson has been shared over 236,000 times.

Rosie Dutton goes from school to school to teach kids about mindfulness and relaxation via Relax Kids, which aims to help kids manage their feelings and emotions, like stress and anxiety. (Where was she when I was in school?!)

Unbeknownst to the kids, before their class on June 21, Dutton dropped one apple on the floor repeatedly. “We talked about the apples and the children described how both apples looked the same; both were red, were of similar size and looked juicy enough to eat,” Dutton said on her Relax Kids Tamworth Facebook page.

She then started picking on one of the apples (the one she’d dropped earlier), calling it names, saying its stem was too short, and asking the children to follow suit.

“Some children looked at me like I was insane, but we passed the apple around the circle calling it names, ‘you’re a smelly apple, ‘I don’t even know why you exist’, ‘you’ve probably got worms inside you’ etc.,” she wrote on Facebook.

She had everyone say kind words to the other apple.

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On the outside, both apples looked the same, and she discussed this with the kids.

“I then cut the apples open,” Dutton said. “The apple we’d been kind to was clear, fresh and juicy inside. The apple we’d said unkind words to was bruised and all mushy inside. I think there was a lightbulb moment for the children immediately. They really got it, what we saw inside that apple, the bruises, the mush and the broken bits is what is happening inside every one of us when someone mistreats us with their words or actions.”

She went on to tell the kids they all have the ability to stop bullying; even one girl in the class had refused to be mean to the bullied apple.

“…Within my lesson I really wanted to focus on the power of JUST our words and the damage they may cause us inside, the pain no one can see.”

Aww. If only there were more teachers like Dutton…

Here’s her post in its entirety: