Thank you for the words of Caution.
Some of the above posts have suggested Words for De-escalation of a conflict. I have previously started a thread, "Shouts for Sub Teens"
So I agree that words are better than Dancing with Wrist Locks.
I also agree that Wrist Locks can cause injury, and that is one reason I have hesitated, in the past, to proceed.
One of my approaches has been to advocate to Karate instructors about teaching kids to dance with wrist-locks, so my personal liability is limited.
The goals I have in mind are to keep standing, and keep the opponent standing, while preventing injury. So Wrist Locks, together with positioning footwork, seems to fulfill those goals. Have I missed other options?
Some Aikido training is aimed at putting the attacker on the ground. The idea being that it is difficult for an attacker to strike from the ground, and it is easier for a victim to step out of reach of the attacker, if the attacker is on the ground. Some children have been disciplined for "Pushing" when an attacker child is witnessed to be on the ground. So keeping the attacker bully standing, seems like a better option.
Further, another idea of Aikido, is to get the attacker youngster talking. Some of the suggestions for Shouts from the victim are Questions, Aimed at getting the Attacker to Talk, or shout back. The process of getting the attacker talking, sometimes stimulates the attacker to think, and sometimes to reconsider his/her actions. This is part of the process of placing an attacker on the floor, because the process of the attacker getting back up, the attacker sometimes re-thinks his/her intentions to continue the attack.
Maybe the process of dancing will stimulate the attacker to rethink the decision to continue the attack. The steps in dancing, should be taken to avoid injury to the attacker, to keep the attacker off-balance so the attacker cannot kick or hit or bite; But also to allow the attacker a measure of expression, in choosing the direction of the next repositioning dance steps.
While a wrist injury can be serious, punching a child in the face can cause a bleeding gash in the face. Boxers wear boxing gloves to avoid the Knuckles of the fist from causing the face to bleed. A youngster striking the face of another youngster, even purely defensively, risks the bully looking like the victim, with blood streaming down his cheek and chin. Many bullies will accuse the victim of being the attacker, when things are being sorted out by the principal. In addition to contradicting pacifist teachings of "Turn the other cheek", striking a bully in the face carries the risk of reverse appearances.
A gash in the face may require stitches, which could mean an ambulance trip to the hospital. A wrist injury is less obvious, and less painful. So wrist locks carry less risk of discipline, even when injury might occur. Even though it might be a highly effective deterrent, just to punch the bully squarely in the face.