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Teacher uses apples to deliver a powerful lesson about bullying

A teacher used a pair of apples to show her young students how hurtful words can be.
/ Source: TODAY

A British teacher found a simple yet powerful way to show her students that the effects of bullying aren't always seen on the outside.

Rosie Dutton, a coach at Relax Kids Tamworth in Birmingham, England, used a pair of apples to show a group of children how words can hurt.

Dutton, who has worked with children for 15 years in nurseries and schools, detailed her lesson in a Facebook post for Relax Kids, which gives children ages 4 through 9 strategies to deal with stress and anxiety.

She wrote about using two red apples of similar size to illustrate how even though they look similar on the outside, they can be much different on the inside.

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Dutton repeatedly dropped one of the apples on the floor without the children knowing and then showed them how the two apples looked the same on the outside. She then said she didn't like the apple she secretly dropped and that the children should call it names.

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She followed by praising the other apple and had the children say positive things about it. After holding them both up, she then cut them open to reveal one that was still clear and juicy and another that was mushy, brown and bruised on the inside.

"I think there was a light bulb moment for the children immediately,'' Dutton wrote. "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.

"When people are bullied, especially children, they feel horrible inside and sometimes don't show or tell others how they are feeling. If we hadn't have cut that apple open, we would never have known how much pain we had caused it."

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Dutton also told the children about a personal experience in which someone's unkind words made her feel horrible on the inside even though she was outwardly smiling.

"The tongue has no bones, but is strong enough to break a heart,'' she wrote. "So be careful with your words."

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Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.