Georgia elementary school’s NIOS campaign uses a touch of magic
Yo-yo tricks, magical illusions, and hilarious skits are all part of an anti-bullying campaign at Wilson Elementary School in Georgia, where The NED Show engages students to act as upstanders both inside the classroom and out, according to Bayonet and Saber.
NED is an acronym for Never give up, Encourage others, and Do your best, and the full-production assembly has been performed at elementary schools all over the United States, the UK, and Australia.
Last year, Wilson Elementary implemented a Not In Our School program to combat bullying and create an inclusive climate on campus for all students. School counselor Evelyn Montgomery thought that The NED Show was a perfect complement to NIOS, and said that the performance was the “best antidote” for bullying behaviors. Montgomery worked with NIOS Director Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas in one of our Not In Our School courses.
Students seemed to absorb the core message as well. “Help [others],” 4th-grader Michaela told Bayonet and Saber. “Encourage them to be nice to others and give them a pat on the back.”
Hundreds rally for integrated sororities at University of Alabama
Hundreds of marchers flocked to the University of Alabama on Wednesday morning, speaking out against the alleged racism in the recruitment process of campus sororities, according to WBRC.
The problem arose after the campus newspaper brought to light an African-American student who was denied an invitation to multiple sororities based solely on the color of her skin. “She would have been a dog fight between all the sororities if she were white,” a sorority member present for the decision was quoted as saying to WBRC.
While the actions by these groups is disturbing, the campus reaction was even more inspiring. Protestors from all backgrounds—students, faculty, men, women, black, white, Greek, non-Greek—all joined together to make perfectly clear they would not tolerate such blatant racism. Students also wanted to show solidarity with the sorority members who came out and spoke against the discrimination.
“We came out to not just honor the brave young sorority women, but also make a sustained commitment to the future and to better relations," UA student William Gonzalez told WBRC.
So far, the administration has responded by reopening the bid process and allowing girls to rush a second time, with sororities reporting their decisions directly to University President Judy Bonner. Learn more about how students have stood up on their campus here.
Innovative anti-bullying measures in Alabama high school
Rewarding good behavior to prevent bullying is just as important, if not more, as punishing bad behavior that perpetuates it.
Measures taken by Leeds High School in Alabama attracted the attention of State Attorney General Luther Strange, who awarded Leeds one of eight State School Initiative Awards of Excellence for preventing bullying and keeping the campus safe, according to AL.com.
Some of the actions taken by the school include a bully prevention hotline, a smartphone app to facilitate communication between students and the administration, and a family counseling program. Strange hopes to share these innovative programs with other schools across the state, and plans to use Leeds as a model for success to prevent bullying on all Alabama campuses.