Elementary students create “upstander” club
Students of Elm Grove Elementary school in Bossier City, LA created an anti-bullying club with the motto “Be an upstander not a bystander.”
A dozen students who have felt the effects of bullying meet twice a month in Robin Webb’s 5th grade class to learn how to stand up against bullying, according to KSLA News.
“It helps me know that I have other members that will help me if I’m being bullied,” 9-year-old Mathew told KSLA News.
Webb started the club because her son, Orrin, who is now a soldier, had been bullied as a child.
“If a kid is being bullied and now they have five or 10 people or one person or two people then they don’t feel so alone and it empowers them,” Webb said. “The more that we have that stand up, the less likely that you will be bullied or that others will be bullied.”
Students across the country are turning to the stage to express their sentiments against bullying.
Students who have experienced bullying were recruited for an anti-bullying play as part of the Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival in New York City. Debbie Lannen of Wolverine Lake, MI created the play titled I’m Sorry, which focuses on how our lives would be different if we didn’t commit the very acts we apologize for, according to BWW. Students provided input from their personal experiences being bullied or witnessing bullying. The play includes various stories ranging from preschool to high school.
Also, in Racine, WI, high school students will stage an anti-bullying play at several local schools, according to The Journal Times.
Students from the local nonprofit Teen Peer Program at Focus on Community helped create and perform this play, focusing on the message of treating people with respect. The play incorporates, videos, dancing, music, rapping, and short skits.
“I used to be the cat that was laughin’ and jackin’, and then I understood the damage I was stackin’,” Horlick senior Tei Jones rapped during one performance.
As a former bully, Tei joined the Teen Peer program as a way to express his feelings and understanding about how his actions affected others.
Another member of the group, Rodriguez, a junior at Horlick High School, began bullying after he was bullied himself. He has since apologized to those he bullied and realized that his actions were hurtful.
“I’m hoping we can at least reach out to one” student to make things better, Rodriguez said.
Students respond to bullying by making anti-bullying video
Special Education students in Hudson Falls, NY created an anti-bullying video urging their classmates to speak up.
The video, titled “Tell Me,” sends a message to students who have been bullied or witnessed bullying, urging them to alert teachers and administrators. Creators of the video also hope it will make students think twice before engaging in bullying.
The video begins with one girl’s emotional account about being bullied to the point of depression. Silent students hold up signs with messages like “You don’t know what it’s like to be me,” according to WNYT.
Students received help from social workers Paul Piotrowski and Laurie Hall in making the video.
“I will never forget the fact that I’ve been physically, emotionally and verbally bullied, so they should realize what they’re going to do and how bad it can impact somebody in their life,” freshman Brittany told WNYT.