Anti-bul­ly­ing pro­gram held

The Crime Vic­tim’s Cen­ter hosted the pro­gram at Uwch­lan Hills Ele­men­tary School

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - Staff Re­port

UWCH­LAN >> Downingtown ele­men­tary stu­dents learned how to cope when they en­counter bul­lies and to not come to con­clu­sions about peo­ple based on their per­ceived ap­pear­ance.

Melissa Heivly of the Crime Vic­tim’s Cen­ter of Ch­ester County re­cently vis­ited Uwch­lan Hills Ele­men­tary School stu­dents in the Downingtown Area School Dis­trict to present the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s anti-bul­ly­ing mes­sage. Pre­pared with stu­dents in mind, the pro­gram fea­tured an in­tro­duc­tion on the Crime Vic­tim’s Cen­ter in West Ch­ester, a re­fresher on the 911 hot­line and ac­tiv­i­ties cen­tered around how to cope when con­fronted with a bully.

Heivly and the stu­dents talked about first im­pres­sions and how im­por­tant it is not to make quick as­sump­tions about peo­ple. She en­cour­aged stu­dents to not base their opin­ions about fel­low stu­dents on their race, re­li­gion, wealth, dis­abil­i­ties or phys­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics.

The chil­dren par­tic­i­pated in two ac­tiv­i­ties. First, Heivly handed out a list of nine dif­fer­ent presents and a brief de­scrip­tion of nine peo­ple. The presents in­cluded a mo­tor­cy­cle hel­met, the­ater tick­ets and a rocket. The chil­dren had to match the present with the cor­rect in­di­vid­ual. When she walked around the room, Heivly quickly no­ticed that ev­ery­one had picked the brief­case for the at­tor­ney, the cup­cake pan for the grand­mother and the the­ater tick­ets for the mother, etc.

The pro­gram fea­tured an in­tro­duc­tion on the Crime Vic­tim’s Cen­ter in West Ch­ester, a re­fresher on the 911 hot­line and ac­tiv­i­ties cen­tered around how to cope when con­fronted with a bully.

Stu­dents came to some as­sump­tions that could be cor­rect, ex­cept they had not asked for more in­for­ma­tion about each in­di­vid­ual. With just a lit­tle more in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the stu­dents learned that the at­tor­ney loved to bake, grandma owned a mo­tor­cy­cle and cousin Jimmy was tak­ing dance lessons and loved the the­ater. Their first as­sump­tions about who should re­ceive what gift were not quite as ac­cu­rate as when they took the time to learn more about each in­di­vid­ual.

The sec­ond ac­tiv­ity in­volved role play­ing, with one stu­dent play­ing the bully, one a vic­tim of the bully and the oth­ers in each group fig­ur­ing out how to help the child in need. Heivly urged the stu­dents to think about how to re­act if a bully be­gan to bother them. Meth­ods in­cluded find­ing a friend, or teacher or par­ent to help. She said they could even call the Crime Vic­tim’s Cen­ter hot­line if ever they felt a need.

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