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Student videos, dialogues help during Anti-Bullying Week

Madison schools used varied approaches for Anti-Bullying Week on Oct. 8-12.

“I’m reading the book ‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palacio to our fifth- and sixth-grade classes” at West Madison Elementary School, principal Dr. Daphne Jah said. “We’re having continual discussions about bullying and how it effects the character in the book.”

The book raises awareness and help students “to know what to do if they’re being bullied,” Jah said. West Madison students also signed an anti-bullying pledge and endorsed their slogan, “Choose kind — vow to be kind.”

“We do not tolerate bullying at all,” Jah said. “Our counselor does lessons during the year about bullying.”

James Clemens High School uses Text to Protect procedures and “also keeps an open door to students with all adults in the building,” principal Dr. Brian Clayton said.

Bob Jones High School students wore orange on Oct. 10 for Unity (anti-bulling) Day. S2S Peer Helpers conducted “Send a Compliment Day,” allowing students to fill out a compliment during lunch for delivery on Oct. 12. “We hoped to encourage kindness and unity within our student body,” sponsor Bridget Drummond said.

S2S Peer Helpers also asked teachers to permit students to stand during first-block class, symbolically ‘taking a stand’ against bullying. “96 minutes is a long time to stand but doesn’t compare to how it feels to be in the seat of someone being bullied daily,” Drummond said. Bob Jones also posted a pledge sign for students to sign.

At Liberty Middle School, counselor Karen Clayton and drama teacher Courtney Hooper led students in creating anti-bullying videos that were broadcast during school and at the PTA meeting, principal Nelson Brown said.

Videos focused on a bystander’s role in bullying. “Our students wrote, created and filmed a public service announcement (PSA)” about 60 seconds long, Hooper said. In the video, students advise bystanders, “Don’t only watch, but go tell an adult or a teacher.” They staged a fight between two boys and discussed the bystander’s behavior in the scenario (lmsdrama.edublogs.com).

Liberty plans to enter their PSA in the anti-bullying contest sponsored by challenge.gov, Hooper said. The contest wants videos showing peer-to-peer communication, positive messaging and promotion of the website, stopbullying.gov.

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