In our effort to build bridges of peace between people all around the world, we invite kids from all nations to share their thoughts on topics that concern them. If you would like to contribute to this endeavor, send an email or a Word file with your opinions, concerns, ideas, or proposed solutions to the world's problems. We will post as many of these on the website as possible. Please don't send handwritten letters, as they will need to be re-typed in order to appear. Below are a few kids' thoughts on a variety of subjects:

Bullying
Fly Away Boy
What Living Peacefully Means to Me
The Letter That Helps the U.S.

We recently held a poster competition at the Danbury, CT Stadley Rough Elementary School. Click below to view the winners of this contest:


Bullying
by Jenny
Belgium
9th Grade

January, 2006

Ban the Bullies

Bullying is definitely nothing new to the human race. Everyone at some point has witnessed or even committed some sort of bullying, whether it’s physical abuse or verbal. Bullying plays a great role in schools everywhere in the world. Great Britain is one of the countries where the pupils in many schools are so badly bullied by their peers and so-called friends that some even contemplate suicide, others actually following through. Bullying is on the rise everywhere although some schools refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem. Not much can be done to stop every bully and help every victim but I think that there are so many options that can be used to lower the rate of bullying.

Bullies are renowned for picking on innocent people, trying their best to find something to use against you, whether it be your ethnicity, weight, looks, social background, religion or even if you just borrowed their eraser for five seconds without asking. Maybe bullies use violence as a cry for help or attention. If a child has been subjected to violence or neglection at home it is probably more likely they will use these with others away from home. If that is the case there then I think that there should be ways of finding out and questioning the parents instead of the child. Physical and verbal bullying are very different and some say that verbal bullying is used mainly by girls while boys tend to take the physical approach, girls try to be more sneaky while boys are said to just be confrontational. Sadly, physical and verbal bullying are now being joined by two new types of bullying, cyber bullying and text bullying.

Although it may be hard to witness anyone being physically bullied, the increase in technology is now giving bullies access to new ways of hurting people. Cyber bullying and text bullying now gives bullies a way to harass others in the comfort of their own home. Logging onto instant messenger with an anonymous email account and mistreating people has become so easy that cyber bullying is used daily, showing just how cowardly bullies can be, why should they have to shield themselves? Sending threatening texts to the straight “A” student in class just shows the jealousy behind the bully because you are better than them at something.

Many campaigns have been made to help stop the bullies. In the UK, every November there is Anti Bullying Week where students everywhere take part in spreading awareness nationwide. Blue charity wristbands have been made and sold with the money raised going to the different organizations to help combat bullying such as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). One victim of bullying even went as far as writing to Tony Blair to make him take bigger actions against bullies everywhere. The question is if that those steps will be taken and in how long? Bullying has been an increasing problem since the millennium and the more time spent doing the minimum the more lives will be in misery. We are the next generation, we should be working together and not be against each other.

How do you beat the bullies? Good question. Everyone deals with bullying in different ways, some much more extreme than others. I was always told to rise above it and after a while, it worked. Just remember, bullies are cowards. That’s all.


Fly Away Boy
By Gabby
Grade 5 Danbury, USA


Why do you hide from everyone?

Is everything okay?

Come with me boy and we will fly away.

We’ll leave this war behind us.

Let’s fly up to the clouds and

drift peacefully away.

The stars will wink at us and tell us funny jokes.

The moon will sing

we’ll soon be free

Come now boy, let’s fly away.


What Living Peacefully Means to Me
Marina
Grade 5 Danbury, CT
, USA

“Boom! Bang!” War is going on and ruining peace in our world. Living peacefully means a lot to me. Not fighting, trusting others, everyone is everyone’s friend. That’s what it’s all about, and it’s not hard to live with peace.

For three years I was not living with peace in my life. My parents were going through a long, sad and mean divorce. They were fighting, not trusting anyone and they weren’t friends. This went on for about three and a half years. After it was over, everything seemed to calm down. My parents don’t live together anymore, but still they are friends. They still do fight, but learn to work it out. My life has been calmer and better after the divorce ended last summer.

Living peacefully has a lot of meanings. Some people think living peacefully is about having a big house or going on an expensive vacation and laying out in hammocks all day. That is peaceful, but I think living peacefully depends on yourself. When you can trust everyone such as your friends and family, to make the right choices -- not fighting and everyone is nice to everyone else.

What is the point in fighting? When you walk down the street you hear arguments and people yelling at other people. When I walk down the street I’d rather hear laughter and friends seeing friends they haven’t seen in years. Why do people fight? To gain attention? Fighting has no point in it. The world should get along and work things out. It would make the world a whole lot safer.

What would I do to make the world more peaceful? One thing I would do is stop the war and let the soldiers come back to their homes, families and friends. How did this war start? Why is it still going on?

If people gave a lot of support there would be many ways to make the world a better place – a better place for living peacefully. To help my community I would have people from the community pick up trash that careless people have thrown around. To help in my neighborhood, I would have people come out more and enjoy the outdoors. Smell the flowers, mow the law, do something to enjoy the world while you can. To help my school, I would have everyone get to know people they don’t like. Your enemy can turn out to be your best friend. I would also have more activities. If we had more activities students would get to know other students.

Living peacefully has a lot of different meanings. My parents divorce was hard on everyone in my family. War is sad, and we all hope it stops. To me living peacefully means just getting along.


The Letter That Helps the U.S.
Brett
Grade 5, Danbury, CT, USA

Dear President George W. Bush,

In my letter you will find some questions and advice to make the U.S. a safer place to live. I am going to write to you about car and gun safety. It seems like we have a lot of car accidents and deaths caused by guns.. I also would like to share my ideas about learning.

Why can’t we make cars safer for drivers? I think we should install a cutoff system in all cars when a driver speeds. The car would know the speed limit by satellites feeding it information. It will greatly decrease the number of accidents. This sensor can be used as a Global Positioning System (GPS) Unit. It will be able to get you to your final destination through programming and it will get you there safely.

Why doesn’t the government have tighter control on guns? I think you should have a system in place called Micro Lock Down (MLD) The MLD blocks the path from the trigger to the barrel of the gun. The people who fire the guns wouldn’t know about this system. The only people who would know this would be the the nations protection agencies.

I think you might want to consider using the computer as the main type of school. It would be easier to control a class. You can have more kids in the class. If there was a device that types what you say, it would be easier to participate in class and to do some work.

Mr. President, I really would like you to consider my suggestions because I think they would make a better and safer place to live. If you can’t use all three suggestions (MLD, Cutoff system for cars, and computer schooling) may I suggest what I think is the least expensive. It would be the computer schooling. Please let me know what you think about my suggestions.

Citizen of Danbury, CT
Brett, Grade 5