This story and all the stories in the series serve to teach students about anger triggers, anger cues, anger styles, anger control, and how to deal with bullies.
- Click to read Bullies, Bystanders, and Victims Chapter 6: Part 1 of 10
Part 2: Story called “The Mean Girls and Marco go after Poor Casey”
A. Teacher reads story to the class called “The Mean Girls and Marco go after Poor Casey.”
B. Story Description: Fern and Marco have been resentful of Casey ever since the three of them were in second grade. Thanks to Casey’s innocent action on “Bring a Bear to School” day, Fern and Marco were determined to make his life miserable. Their over five-year campaign had been all too successful. Now that Casey was also dealing with the challenges of being obese, they had extra fodder to add to their ammunition against him. Poor Casey!
The Mean Girls and Marco go after Poor Casey
© 2011 by Debbie Dunn
Chapter 6, Story 1 of 4: The Mean Girls and Marco go after Poor Casey
Introduction:Fern and Marco have been resentful of Casey ever since the three of them were in second grade. Thanks to Casey’s innocent action on “Bring a Bear to School” day, Fern and Marco were determined to make his life miserable. Their over five-year campaign had been all too successful. Now that Casey was also dealing with the challenges of being obese, they had extra fodder to add to their ammunition against him. Poor Casey!
Note to Teacher: Due to the sensitive nature of the story about Casey, this will only be presented in story form for you to read to the class. It will not be presented as a role-play.
Fern Russell, the meanest of the seventh-grade ‘Mean Girls’ at KMS, became conscious of a bad stench coming from right behind her. She didn’t even have to turn to know that it was due to Casey Fraser. Once again, she thought resentfully of the fact that Mr. Taylor, her fifth-period math teacher, insisted on having assigned seats in his class.
Fern got out a sheet of notebook paper. She wrote at the top of the note, “I believe we need to start calling Casey by the nickname of Winnie.” Then she folded it up. When Mr. Taylor wasn’t looking, she passed the note to Marco Donaldson, the football quarterback, who sat to her left.
Marco unfolded the note and read it. He looked puzzled as he wrote back, “Huh?”
Still making certain that Mr. Taylor was otherwise occupied, Fern smirked as she wrote, “You know. We should call him Winnie the Pooh because he smells like Poo. Eewwww!”
As she carefully folded the note and passed it back to Marco, she turned her head, kind of nodded in Casey’s direction, and wrinkled her nose up like she was smelling rotten eggs.
Marco grabbed the note, gave Casey a pointed look, and sneered. Then he read the note. It made him laugh out loud in delight. Naturally, this caught the attention of the entire class. This included the now very annoyed Mr. Taylor.
Casey’s face flamed bright red. He was pretty sure the note was about him the way the two of them kept giving him pointed looks and snickering.
Mr. Taylor glided over to Marco’s desk and held out his hand. Marco obliged by placing the note in his math teacher’s hand.
Casey panicked and thought, “Please don’t be one of those teachers who reads notes out loud. Because if it is about me, I would feel humiliated – even more than I do now.” He watched the teacher anxiously.
Mr. Taylor frowned as he read the note. He frowned even more deeply when he too became aware of the stench emanating from Casey. After determining the authors of the note, he issued demerit slips to both students. Then he ordered, “Get back to work.” Fern and Marco looked totally unconcerned about receiving demerit slips. They returned to working on their math problems.
Mr. Taylor tried to decide how to handle the situation in the best way possible. He felt a bit conflicted. He thought, “Fern and Marco are both displaying bullying tactics toward Casey; however, he does have hygiene challenges perhaps due to his excessive weight. I’ll have to keep my eye on all three of them. If this keeps up, I may need to rearrange my seating chart to separate those two potential trouble-makers and to protect Casey.”
As he continued moving around the room helping students with their math seat work, he thought about how he could best help Casey. Since being a guidance counselor was not his job function nor anything he was particularly good at, he decided the best course of action was to refer him to someone who would be able to help him.
After class, Mr. Taylor took a few moments to write a note to Mrs. Feelgood, the school guidance counselor. He realized that Casey might need some extra help dealing with victimizers like Fern and Marco. He also theorized that Casey needed counsel on how to deal with some of the challenges of being obese so that he no longer made himself such an easy target.
When the dismissal bell rang, Casey felt confused when both Fern and Marco turned toward him and sarcastically said, “Bye, Winnie. See you later, Winnie.”
From that time forward, Marco and the four ‘Mean Girls’ took every opportunity to call him by that name. When the teachers were not in listening-distance, they would turn to each other and scornfully state, “Look! There’s ‘Winnie the POOH’. They would put extra emphasis on the word POOH as they did this.
Casey would flush scarlet every time. He felt humiliated and great despair. He thought, “Man! I’ve been paying and paying for something that happened way back in second grade. You would think Fern and Marco would have gotten over it by this time.”
What happened in second grade?
Their second-grade teacher, Miss Berry, loved bears. She also loved the book called “Corduroy” by Don Freeman.” After reading the picture book to the class, she decided to conduct a ‘Bring a Bear to School Day’. On that day, she planned to lead the students through the hallway for a Bear Parade.
On the day of the parade, Fern showed up with her designer bear from Paris, France, sent to her by her favorite aunt. Marco forgot his bear. When he tried to call his mother to bring his stuffed bear to school and got no andswer, he recalled that she was off at a tennis clinic and could not honor his request.
As for Casey, he brought in his Winnie the Pooh bear that his parents had bought for him on their recent spring break trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
The other kids were scornful of the fact that Marco did not have his bear. They were not the least bit impressed that Fern’s designer bear was made of real mink fur and came all the way from another country. On the other hand, they made a big deal over Casey’s bear since most of them were fans of A. A. Milne’s stories about Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore.
Casey gloried in the fact that his bear seemed to be one of the most popular of the bears brought in that day. He felt really proud as he fell into line in the Bear Parade. He and his classmates giggled at the fun antics of Miss Berry wearing green overalls like those worn by the bear called “Corduroy.”
Little did he know that Fern and Marco jealously decided to start a ‘Victimize Casey’ campaign that had no end-date in sight.
During their third grade year, Casey’s mother left his mechanic father for another man. She deserted both husband and son as she skipped town with her boyfriend who she had met on an internet dating site. Fern and Marco gloried in making pointed remarks about how his mother couldn’t bear to be around him as he was ‘ugly’ and ‘fat’.
Casey was indeed starting to get roly poly. His father couldn’t cook, so he usually brought home fast food for the two of them to eat. Worried that Fern and Marco were right that it was his fault his mother left, he resorted to comfort food and overeating. By sixth grade, Casey was definitely overweight. In fact, he was the biggest kid in their K-6 elementary school.
Poor Casey did not have his mother there to teach him good hygiene skills. Due to his excessive weight and the fact that he was going through puberty, he would sweat a whole lot. His underarm odor was quite unpleasant to smell.
Marco led the class in a fund-raiser drive to buy Casey a can of deodorant. The kids in the class gleefully donated their nickels and dimes. Then Marco waited until the moment when the sixth-grade elementary teacher was not around to present this can of deodorant to Casey in the most humiliating way that he could manage.
Marco said, “Casey, because we are tired of you stinking up our classroom with your B.O. body odor, we present this can of deodorant. Wear it or else!”
Fern led her classmates in a chorus of “Pee-eww!” The class laughed as poor Casey’s face flamed scarlet.
Casey did start using the can of deodorant, so they no longer could pick on him for having underarm odor. But Fern and Marco seemed to find plenty of other things to taunt him about.
Casey was excessively overweight by seventh grade. In fact, he was obese. Unfortunately, due to his increased mass, he could not reach his private parts to clean himself after having a bowel movement. As a result, Fern and Marco were not just being cruel, they were also being accurate. He really did smell bad. Poor Casey needed an intervention. That is where the school guidance counselor came in.
Mrs. Feelgood decided she needed to team with another trained adult who was already familiar with Casey’s story. So she called the elementary school that Casey had attended to find out if Mrs. Jones, the guidance counselor from that school, could come to KMS. That way, they both could meet with Casey together. They invited Mr. Fraser to attend this meeting as well.
At first, Mr. Fraser was totally insulted when he heard what Casey had suffered the last several years. He felt the two guidance counselors were purposely being cruel. Eventually, he realized that they truly did have good intentions regarding his son.
It took a while for both father and son to understand and comprehend the intervention. Mr. Fraser said, “It sounds to me like you are blaming the victim rather than dealing with that set of bullies you have at your school.”
Mrs. Feelgood did her best to explain, “We are not blaming Casey. It is more a matter of Casey being the best Casey he can be.”
Turning to Casey, his elementary school counselor said, “Casey, I know you are all too aware of the fact that many kids can be very cruel. I heard about the very hurtful way your classmates last year tried to get across the point that you were getting to the age where you needed to use deodorant on a daily basis.”
Casey’s face flamed scarlet while Mr. Fraser looked puzzled. He asked, “What happened exactly?”
Casey said, “Uh, …, the kids held a fund-raiser to buy me a can of deodorant last year. They presented it in a really embarrassing way. But once I started using it, they no longer could make fun of me for having underarm odor.”
Mr. Fraser shook his head in despair and said, “Casey, I guess I’ve really failed you. I’ve been so busy trying to make a living, I forgot that I need to teach you some skills about hygiene.”
Mrs. Jones said, “That’s it exactly. When any kid, not just Casey, but any kid does not practice good hygiene, it is like he or she is putting a target on his or her back that attracts the attention of bullies. Those kids are waiting for any excuse to put that kid down.”
Casey said, “Like what? I don’t get it.”
*** Note to Teacher: Display poster called “Which Waterbuck would a bully target?” ***
- Poster: Which Waterbuck would a bully target?
The Story Continues …
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Casey, do you see my poster of the Waterbucks over there?”
Casey looked and said, “Yes, I see it. What about it?”
Mrs. Feelgood asked, “What do you notice about those particular antelopes that are called Waterbucks?”
Casey said, “Well, their back side really does look like a target.”
Mrs. Feelgood asked, “Would you read the caption out loud?”
Casey read, “Which Waterbuck would a bully target?”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “The Waterbuck Antelopes obviously can’t help how they were made. Through no fault of their own, they literally appear to have a target on their backs. But as for students, there are certain actions they can take that can keep them off the radar of a bully looking for an easy target. But, if they don’t take those particular actions, then it is like they are purposely transforming themselves into a Waterbuck Antelope with a target on their back, figuratively speaking, of course. Does this make sense at all?”
Casey said, “I’m not sure. What do you mean exactly?”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Let’s take the example about what happened to you in sixth grade. What happened that, figuratively speaking, put a target on your back?”
Casey and his father glanced at each other. Then Casey said, “Oh, I guess I know what you mean now. I had underarm odor. Since I had not been taught about using deodorant yet, I did not realize there was something I could do to stop it.”
Mr. Fraser said, “Oh, Son. I am so sorry.”
Casey said, “That’s okay, Dad. You were just busy working.”
Mrs. Jones said, “Casey, that is a very mature attitude to have. Now back to our discussion about underarm odor. I want you to realize that this is something that can happen to each of us in this room. The potential to have underarm odor is something that can happen to every teenager and to every grown-up – even to the bullies.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Exactly! If a teenager or grown-up does not use deodorant, they are accidentally putting a target on their backs that will invite criticism and bullying.”
Casey said, “Okay, I get it now. I had underarm odor, so I had a target on my back. As soon as I started using deodorant to correct the underarm odor, I was removing that particular target from my back. Did I get it right?”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Good job, Casey. You are a very smart young man.”
Casey said, “Okay, what other ways could I accidentally be putting a target on my back?”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Okay, let’s take it one step at a time. Let’s talk about teeth first. If a kid or grown-up has bad breath or food on their teeth, they are putting a target on their back. If they brush their teeth or use mouthwash, they are taking the target off their back. So, Casey, how often do you brush your teeth?”
Casey said, “Uh, …, well, I guess every other day.”
When he saw the looks on their faces, he amended, “Sometimes, I do it every day.”
Mr. Fraser said, “Son, I really have done a bad job in teaching you some basic skills that you need to know. You should brush your teeth in the morning before you leave for school. You should also brush your teeth at night.”
Casey said, “Oh! I didn’t know that.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “That way, kids can’t accuse you of having bad breath or food on your teeth.”
Mrs. Jones said, “You already know about using deodorant. How often do you use it?”
Casey said, “I use it every morning before I leave for school.”
Mrs. Jones said, “Excellent, Casey! That’s a very good thing.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “How often do you shower or bathe?”
Casey said, “Every other day.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Casey, it is very important that you shower daily. Now I don’t mean to embarrass you, but it seems to me that you are having a hard time washing your private parts.”
Casey said, “Yeah! How did you know?”
Very gently, Mrs. Feelgood said, “Do the kids ever make fun of you for smelling like you haven’t wiped yourself thoroughly?”
Mr. Fraser said, “That’s awful, Son! Have they been doing that?”
Casey looked down at the floor as he mumbled, “Yeah.” His face turned bright red as he said, “I can’t help it. I just can’t reach back there.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Here is a catalog that you and your father can look through. It has all kinds of sanitary mobility aids, For example, you might want to use a back brush or what is known as a bottom buddy. There are other aids as well. You can look through this to determine what might work best for you.”
Note to Teacher: If you have a student with similar challenges, you might want to refer them to this website:
- Oversize Solutions: Self Wipe Toilet Aid
The Story Continues …
Mr. Fraser and Casey paged through the catalog a bit. Then, they put it aside to continue listening.
Mrs. Feelgood said, “I suggest that you take your shower in the morning before you leave for school. That way, you come to school smelling good and fresh.”
Casey said, “Yeah, I could do that.”
Mrs. Jones said, “Do you ever come to school wearing dirty clothes?”
Casey said, “Yeah! I hate doing laundry.”
Mr. Fraser said, “Son, let’s you and I take turns from now on doing laundry. That way, we both can go to work smelling fresh and clean.”
Casey said, “Yeah, we could do that.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “How often do you wash your hair?”
Casey said, “Uh, …, well, … not that often.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “I would suggest you wash your hair every morning as well.”
Casey looked sad.
Mrs. Jones said, “Casey, do you realize we are telling you this to help you be the best Casey that you can be?”
Casey said, “Yeah, …, I guess so.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Bullies are always looking for things to make fun of. What you want to do is foil them in their attempt as much as possible. If you come to school with a clean body, with clean hair, with clean clothes, using deodorant, and brushing your teeth, then there is no way they can attack you for smelling bad. Does that make sense?”
Casey said, “Yeah, …, but, … .”
Mrs. Feelgood asked, “But what?”
Casey said, “Well, I can’t very well carry one of those long-handled things to wipe with at school.”
Mrs. Feelgood nodded her agreement and said, “Yes, that’s true. Perhaps, if you can’t wait to have a bowel movement until you get home, you could carry sanitary wipes in your pocket and just do the best you can about wiping while at school.”
Mr. Fraser said, “Son, I realize it’s partly my fault that you have gotten so out of shape. Since your mother left, I have been doing nothing but bringing home junk food and fast food for us to eat. Perhaps we can manage to eat better and even join the YMCA. That way, we both can try to get in better shape.”
Casey said, “Yeah! I’d like that.”
Mr. Fraser said, “We’ll make it a team effort. You be the best Casey that you can be, and I’ll work on being the best Dad and man that I can be.”
Casey looked pleased. Then his face turned a bit grim as he asked, “Uh, …, Dad?”
Mr. Fraser said, “Yes, Son?”
Casey asked, “Is it my fault?”
Mr. Fraser said, “Is what your fault?”
Casey said, “Is it my fault that Mom left?”
Mr. Fraser looked sad and said, “No, Son. It was my fault. I was being really neglectful of your mother and not being that great of a husband. I think she just got tired of me and of being a wife and mother. Some women just aren’t cut out for that kind of thing. But I think she really loved you in her own way. She just wanted to play and have fun rather than face up to having responsibilities.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Casey, it’s normal to think that it’s your fault. Kids usually think like that when their parents separate or divorce. Most of the time, it’s nothing to do with the kids. You’re very lucky though to have a father who loves you so much.”
Casey said, “Yeah, I guess I am. I feel better now that you’ve explained it to me.”
Mr. Fraser said, “I feel very lucky to have a son like you. We’re a team, you know, …, you and me.”
Casey looked pleased.
Casey worked hard in practicing good hygiene habits. Eventually, the kids forgot about calling him Winnie the Pooh because he no longer had a bad body odor in any way.
Fern and the other ‘Mean Girls’ still picked on him in other ways simply because it was in their nature to do that. They were like sharks who are constantly on the hunt for easy prey.
As for Marco, he was not ready to give up his victimization campaign on Casey. He was not pleased to see him now practicing good hygiene habits and even starting to lose some weight. Since he could no longer taunt Casey for being smelly, he realized he was going to have to get a lot more creative. Slowly, but surely, Marco began to hatch a really malicious plan.
- Click to read Bullies, Bystanders, and Victims Chapter 6: Part 3 of 10
Return to Bullies, Bystanders, and Victims Middle School lesson plan: Chapter 6 of 12 (coming soon)
The 8 Tools of Anger Control plus much of the other Anger Control material is also adopted with permission from the programs of The Anger Coach produced by psychologist Dr. Tony Fiore.
- URL: http://drfiore.com