The ABC’s of Bullying or That’s Some BULL!
This play , The ABCs of Bullying or That?s Some BULL was written by Sandra Shelton-Bouknight, and is intended for immediate discussion and interaction with an audience of students, teachers and other professionals between scenes.
Cast of Characters
Aaron - a middle school student
Bull - a misguided classmate/bully
Assistant Principal (Mr. Moore)
Teacher (Ms. Clay)
Aaron - a middle school student
Opening scene: Aaron (a middle school student) is listening and dancing to Lady GaGa’s hit song, “Born This Way”. At the song’s end, he walks to a closet, gets a rope, and begins to hang himself. In the final moment, he stops, removes the rope, then addresses the audience.
Aaron: What- why should I stay here. I can?t do this anymore. I can?t take it anymore; it?s too hard, too painful, and I „m tired of it. Don?t act like you didn?t know this would happen. You saw everything because you were there the whole time. And you didn?t do a thing except laugh and make fun of me, too with your indifference. Even when you did feel my pain … you did nothing. You are just as responsible as everyone else! So don?t judge me now, just because I?ve decided to put a stop to all of this. It?s over..it?s so over..I just want peace.. so leave me alone. And you all can go to hell…just like me.
Bull: Don't feel sorry for that little punk.. let him do it. He?s a nobody, a fool -weak, sorry, little know it all and teacher?s pet. He?s better off dead any way. I coulda killed him myself but its better this way. .. They call me Bull.. That?s right (Spelling his name slowly) B-U-L-L, and I run things around here. Always have and probably always will. See I „m a man , the man. And everybody knows that in this hood you gone do what Bull say do or that?s it for you. Somebody got to run things …it might as well be me cause cant nobody do thangs like me. I know everybody in this neighborhood and everybody know me. And I been running things since I was 14 years old and my mama died. My daddy couldn?t tell me nothing cause even when he did come around he didn?t have any money and he?d be so drunk, he try to beat me and my little brother for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But 1 day, I swore that if he even looked like he wanted to touch me or my brother, I?d kill him . I almost did too and he was so shame and so angry cause I stood up to him that he just drank all night until he passed out on the floor. When I woke up the next morning , he was gone. He left 20 dollars on the table and a note saying that since I thought That I was a man , I could take care of myself and my little brother.. Said the $20 should be enough to last til he came back. But he never did. So I just started doing what I needed to do to take care of me and my brother. I didn?t have nobody to help me! My grandma let us stay with her, but I?m the one responsible for our food and our clothes. And I needed money, so I started taking it from anybody at school that I could get it from. Told „em that that if they squealed, their ass would be mine. You know how it goes-“Snitches Get Stitches”! It was easier than I thought, too, especially with him –.(he points at Aaron) Yeah I been knowing him since 5th grade. He was so weak and puny. No spine, no guts- all I had to do was hit him smack in the face- make his nose bleed, and he?d give me everything I wanted. He tried to run home to his mama, but she couldn?t help him. Sides, what she gone do to me? What anybody gone do to me? I am the Bull..
Questions to Audience for student/teacher interaction
Do you know someone like Aaron?
Do you know someone like Bull?
Why does Bull act the way he does?
Scene 2 begins with Aaron, crying as he runs home to his mother.
Mom: Aaron, what is it -what happened? Oh My God! Who did this to you?
Aaron: Nobody. Mom: What do you mean nobody? You didn?t do this to yourself. Look at your face, it almost purple! And you?re bleeding. Why are your clothes torn and what is that written on your face?
Aaron: I fell..just leave me alone.
Mom: But Aaron, sweetey, you?re bleeding ..tell mother what happened
Aaron: I can't, he'l
Mom: He'll what..
Aaron: Beat me up again.
Mom: No he won't because I am going to call his mother
Aaron: He doesn?t have a mother.
Mom: Then I?ll call his dad.
Aaron: He doesn't have a dad either. At least that?s what the other kids say.
Mom: Who was it? I need you to tell me his name. I mean it now, Aaron, tell me!
Aaron: He's just a boy at my school.
Mom: Well, did you fight back? I mean, you„re hurt bad.
Aaron: I used to fight back, when we were in Elementary, but then I stopped growing and he …he „s always been so much bigger than me .
Mom: What do you mean always. How long has this been going on?
Aaron: Since 5th grade.
Mom: 5th grade? Oh my God! Why didn?t you tell somebody? Why didn?t you tell me? Aaron , I need you to tell me everything now! Right now! Then I'm calling your teacher.
Aaron: Everyone calls him BULL. He makes the rules. He decides who gets to play ball in gym and who has to do his homework for him. Even some of our teachers are afraid of him. Well some of the female teachers. The male teachers like him cause he can play football.
Mom: Why didn't you tell the principal?
Aaron: I tried to tell our Asst Principal but he was so busy and then Bull saw me and that just made things worse.
Scene 3 : Aaron walks into the Asst. Principal office.
Aaron: Mr Moore, can I talk to you for a moment?
Mr. Moore: What is it son? I?ve seen you in here before. What?s your name ?
Aaron: Aaron. Mr. Moore: Well Aaron how can I help you ?
Mr. Moore:Yes I know him He s a mean tight end. If weren't for him , we might not have won that last game. He's good .
Aaron: Yes sir he is… but…Can I tell you something in confidence I mean just between us and you won?t tell Bull that I came in here?
Mr. Moore: Yeah, sure what is it?
Aaron:Well.. Bull.. he kind of.. picks on me and sometimes he gets mad if I don?t give him money.
Mr. Moore: He what? I find that hard to believe young man. You?re kind of small for Bull to pick on…Let me call him in so we can all talk.
Aaron: No Mr. Moore, he?ll kill me if he knew I told you anything. You said we could talk between the two of us..
Mr. Moore: Aaron if we?re going to solve this, I?ve got to be able to talk to him and get his side of the story. Now, I won?t let him hurt you. We?ll just talk. I?m sure we can work this out … (Mr Moore’s secretary enters suddenly and interrupts them
Secretary: The principal wants to see you right away Mr. Moore. He says he needs that Textbook inventory report now. He and Ms. Brown are waiting for you in his office. He says to come now, Mr. Moore, come right now with that report. I don?t want to tell you how angry he looked.
Mr. Moore:Sorry, Aaron, I?ve got to go. I need to get to a meeting, but I„ll get back to you on this. I?ll send for you tomorrow.
Aaron: But Mr. Moore…
Mr. Moore: I can't talk to you right now, but I promise I’ll get back to you .. tomorrow..
Aaron: Yeah right, you?ll get back to me. (Aaron exits)
Questions to Audience for student/teacher interaction
What should the Administrator have done to better assist Aaron?
What factors increase Aaron?s fears in speaking to this Administrator?
Should the administrator have called in Bull anyway? Why or why not?
The scene continues as Aaron speaks to his mom.
Mom:You should?ve talked to him again.
Aaron:But Mr. Moore never sent for me and I never went back to him cause I didn?t want him to let Bull know I snitched. Besides, he liked Bull. He even saw Bull pushing me around one day and all he said was “Y?all stop horsing around and get to class.
Mom:How long ago was this son, since you talked to Mr. Moore?
Aaron: I don't know … maybe at the beginning of this year.
Mom:You mean all this time, nobody noticed and you didn?t tell anybody? I knew something was wrong . You were so distant and you didn?t want to go to school anymore. It?s just that I was busy working and I thought you were going through a phase. I?m sorry Aaron. I should have known.
Aaron: It wasn?t your fault Mom. I just couldn?t tell you or dad. I was ashamed.
Mom: Well what happened today? You?ve got to tell me.
Aaron: Today, I was supposed to have his algebra homework ready, but I didn?t understand it myself, so I didn?t finish it. He said it was all wrong, and that I had to pay. After school, he followed me to the bus stop and knocked me into the fence. I fell and he just kept hitting me. He was calling me names. And then he told his friends that they could kick me if they wanted too, and they did. Usually, I can run or hide before he gets out of class but today he was waiting on me. (Flashback)
Scene 4 : Aaron is confronted by Bull at school while other students look on.
Bull:You stupid punk- you caused me to get an “F? in Algebra. You gonna pay – what kinda money you got?
Aaron: Nothing, I already gave you my allowance. (Aaron backs up, but Bull knocks him down, punches and kicks him.)
Bull:That was yesterday- I want some money today and I don?t mean $10.
Aaron: But I don't have any. Look, see I don?t have any money, Bull.
Bull: Ok y'all- get him! (All the kids start to kick and punch Aaron.) You better have my money tomorrow or I?m really gonna hurt you. Look at you –gay boy- want a kiss? Bull writes “Gay Boy” on Aaron’s forehead with a marker. The crowd laughs and chants, “Gay boy, the Boy toy- bring the older men joy”.
Bull:Now go home and get my money, and if you tell your mama or anybody- you?re dead! Teacher (Ms. Clay): Hey what?s going on here? Bull What are you doing?
Bull: I ain?t doing nothing, Ms. Clay. Trying to help him get this writing off his stupid face. I told him he need to go home and wash his face.
Teacher: Bull's right -Aaron you need to go home right now and quit crying all the time. Now you kids go home and leave this boy alone! (The students, including Bull, leave) Aaron, you?re in middle school now. It?s time to grow up. (She laughs) Now pull those pants down. You make people want to make fun of you, looking like that.
Aaron: But Ms Clay, Bull and everybody hit me and he said he was going to beat me up again tomorrow if I don?t give him money. And I don?t have any more money. This is not his 1st time jumping me either. Didn?t you see them jump me? Can't you take me home, Ms. Clay? He may be waiting for me somewhere.
Ms. Clay: Calm down, Aaron and no, I didn?t see anything but you standing there with that silly writing on your face. And don?t be silly Aaron, you know that I can?t take you home. That?s against school rules. Look, you shouldn?t give Bull any more money. You should just stand up to him. This is a part of growing up- learning to stand up for yourself.
Aaron: But he?s bigger than me.
Ms. Clay: That doesn't matter. He?ll never leave you alone if you don?t stand up to him. Trust me, the bigger they are the harder they fall.
Aaron: But he's going to kill me tomorrow.
Ms. Clay:Don?t be so dramatic, he?s not going to kill you. But if you?re that worried, maybe you should speak to the Asst. Principal Moore, if Bull doesn?t stop bothering you.
Aaron: I already told Asst Principal Moore about Bull. He didn?t do anything. Said he?d get back to me when he finished his textbook report that was due. But he never called me back to his office. Plus, he likes Bull, and Bull said I better not snitch to anybody else or he?d shut me up for good. He?s even got a gun, Ms. Clay.
Ms. Clay:Then tell your parents cause there?s nothing that I can do.. Look I?ve got to pick up my daughter from day care. I?ll see you tomorrow.
Aaron: No you won?t ever see me again.
Ms. Clay: Quit being so dramatic, Aaron, Bull is just trying to scare you, he?s probably just bluffing. Now go home and wash that junk off of your face.
Questions to Audience for student/teacher interaction
How would you describe Ms. Clay's reaction to the situation?
What should the teacher (Ms. Clay) have done to better assist Aaron?
How could Aaron?s classmates have helped?
Scene 5- (Back at Aaron’s home-his father enters)
Dad: What?s going on here? What happened to you boy?
Mom: He?s being bullied at school. Some awful boy has been beating him up and taking his allowance for years. And he?s been hiding it from us. What can we do Dave- the school should take care of those bad kids over there. We need to talk to that principal, the school needs to handle this, but, I can?t take off tomorrow to go to the school. I„ll lose my job, can you go?
Dad:You know I can?t, besides that won?t help. Come here son, look boy, you?ve got to man up, you?re going to have to find a way to beat this boy. Aaron: But dad, he?s so much bigger than me. He?s almost 6 feet, he plays football, and he controls everybody. Can?t I just change schools. They tease me constantly. They call me names.
Dad: No, we are not letting you change schools. You can?t run away from these kind of kids, son. They?re everywhere. Unfortunately, your mother and I are too busy working to come to that school. Neither one of us can take a day of right now, so you will have to take care of this yourself. Look if that boy hits you again, you better hit him back or you will have to answer to me when you get home and I don’t think you want that. And you certainly better not give him any more of my money. And what about this name calling? You?re not gay are you? Cause no son of mine will be gay!
Aaron: No, dad, I’m not gay. I’m not. They just made that up so they’d have a reason to pick on me. I’m smaller than everyone, and I „m smart and they hate me for that too. I don?t like to fight. I?m not good in sports like they are, and so they laugh at every move I make. I don?t fit. I just don?t fit. I?ve tried everything to make them like me, but nothing worked. They say my clothes look funny , and Bull-he is the worst ever. I gave him my money, but he just kept asking me for more. I let him copy my paper. I even move to the other side of the hall when I see him coming. But nothing helps. He just follows me to the other side and throws me against the locker. I don?t have any friends…no one else will even talk to me because they? re afraid that Bull will get them too. So they just go along with whatever he says. First, it was just him teasing me, now it’s everyone. Even my teacher laughs at Bull?s jokes about me. I?m not going to school tomorrow, I?m never going back there, never. You don’t understand. No one understands. I ain?t gay. I?m just small. And at my school…I might as well be dead. Finale: Aaron walks back to his room, puts on Lady Gaga’s song again, and opens the closet door as the lights dim.