Victoria Okhapkina, 14, Novocherkassk



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A very kind and friendly girl named Shushan came into our class two years ago. She wasn't bad in any way but she came from another country.

Some of the kids in our class are either unaware or ignorant, but they wouldn't make friends with Shushan. Also they said bad things about her. They said, Shushan is silly. Shushan is ugly.

I couldn't believe how mean these kids were. Some of the girls were friendlier; they made friends with her. But sometimes they changed and laughed with the others.

Shushan never complained about it to our teachers, but they knew about it. One day our class teacher said, Students, I know what has been going on. This ugliness to Shushan must stop. You need to be tolerant and kind.

After discussing our situation she told us about one of her pupils. His name was Maxim. He protected people from other regions who were being teased. He stopped someone else who played jokes on his Ukrainian teacher. Maxim is now an authority in our school and under his influence our boys began to realize their mistakes.

After this, everyone made friends with Shushan and I hope that we never tease her or people from other places again. It was a good lesson for us!


I. Understanding the Story
Write the main idea of this story.

II. Vocabulary
Use these words to complete the sentences.
tease authority unaware situation protected influence
1. Children need to be _________________ from bullies.
2. Don't ________________ people for being different.
3. The child was ____________________ about how unkind he was.
4. The director was a/an _________________ in the school.
5. The __________________ in the classroom became worse.
6. Maxim was a good ________________ on other boys.

III. Now you Talk
1. What is the difference between being ignorant, unaware and stupid?
2. Why didn't Shushan complain?
3. If you moved to another region or another country, would people ridicule you? What would you do if they did?

IV. Now you Write
Write a summary of the story.

V. Role Play
1. Shushan and her mother: Her mother gives her advice.
2. Shushan and the writer: They talk about telling the teacher.
3. Shushan and mean (cruel) girl: They talk and disagree.
4. Teacher and Maxim: They discuss the situation in her class.
5. Maxim and mean (cruel) boy: Maxim tells him how he should act.