Students Teach Students About Bullying Prevention

Drew, a sixth grader at Crossroads Park Elementary, stands at a microphone in the gym before about 550 of his classmates.

Being in front of an audience is nothing new to him. Drew has been dancing since he was very young and has performed in such productions as the Iowa Dance Theater’s “The Nutcracker.”

Today, however, he won’t be dancing and the topic isn’t festive. Drew and about 15 of his classmates are performing a skit about bullying.

It is a topic Drew understands.

“I knew what it felt like because I was bullied,” he said. “And I wanted to stop it.”

That is why when his fifth grade teacher handed out a persuasive writing assignment late last spring, he chose to write about why people shouldn’t bully.

But Drew didn’t stop there.

Encouraged by his teacher, he went to Crossroads Park guidance counselor Mrs. Ladd and told her he wanted to start a club; a club for kids focused on helping kids prevent bullying.

 Drew’s Video: How Bullying Hurts

Ladd was so impressed, she asked him to come to a larger committee of building teachers and staff to talk about his idea. “He showed up with a PowerPoint and convinced us on the spot.”

Today, the ABC (Anti-Bullying Club) has more than 25 members, who are sixth graders. They meet with Mrs. Ladd once a month before school to design posters and plan monthly all-school assemblies to help teach students about bullying and how they can work together to prevent it.

Today’s assembly featured skits on how to stick up for someone in a positive way. Another assembly focused on how to tell an adult about bullying. Drew’s favorite was the assembly that featured a game-show skit, “Bullying or Not Bullying?” Club members wrote the skit to teach students as young as kindergarten the difference, but also made it entertaining and fun for everyone. “I don’t want the kids to get bored,” Drew said.

He remembers the lessons he learned from Mrs. Ladd’s classes throughout his years at Crossroads Park. She explains that bullying prevention is taught in every class at every grade level.

Bullying Prevention Resources:

The club supports this curriculum, but adds a “cool” factor. “Part of the reason the kids think the club is cool is because the kindergarteners look up to the older kids,” Drew explains.

Kids even older are getting involved. Valley High School senior Ryan Tasler helped the club out by making “End Bullying” wristbands, which are being handed out to every student at Crossroads Park through funds from the elementary school. Tasler made them through a business he started for his Valley entrepreneurial class. He also came over to Crossroads Park, his alma mater, to talk to kids about bullying prevention.

So what’s next for ABC? Drew looks at Mrs. Ladd and immediately starts churning out ideas. “We need to do one on cyber-bullying,” Drew adds. They are also planning how they will continue the club next year when he has graduated from elementary school.

Yes, Drew has some thoughts on that too.