Stand up and stop bullying
“Stand up and stop bullying!”
So began the anti-bullying assembly Friday in Pea Ridge Middle School.
Peer mediators and drama students hosted, created and performed the skits and program which began with blindfolded students wearing black shirts walkin in carrying posters with various negative emotions felt by victims of bullying — lonely, scared, vulnerable, isolated, defeated, pain, despair, afraid, rejected. Immediately students wearing white shirts carrying posters with positive emotions filed across the line, pairing with fellow students and replacing the negative emotions with positive ones such as loved, relaxed, joyful, accepted, bold, hope, strength, support, brave, friendship.
“There’s not just one type of bullying… there’s physical… there’s also verbal bullying …” the moderator stated.
“It takes the power of one. It takes one person to stand up to a bully. Once one person stands up to a bully, more will follow.”
Peer mediation is a leadership program in the school focused on positive peer relationships and positive school culture, school counselor Tina Robinson explained.
Part of the mission of the peer mediators is to eradicate bullying districtwide, and they wanted to share their mission as part of their campaign for National Bullying Prevention Month. The entire month of October they will work with students in the district to raise awareness about bullying and to connect students to resources if they or someone they know experiences bullying.
The theme of the assembly was “The Power of One,” and the message behind it was that every student has the power to make an impact on their school culture and the power to make a difference in the lives of their peers, Robinson said.
The peer mediators really wanted to emphasis the responsibility that comes with that power which is why we wrapped the assembly up with the speech “The Power of Choice” during which the speaker, Patrick Meador, talked about how every student has a choice each day to either be a friend or a bully.
The students who participated in the assembly also want to send the message that the choice is not something that a student is faced with once, but a choice that they have to commit to making each day. To help provide support to students and to serve as a reminder of the Power of Choice, the peer mediators came up with a promise that they shared with the students at the assembly.
The promise is to be a student who stands up and says no to bullying. They challenged everyone to take this promise with them with their mission statement “One Team, One Town, One Heart, One Promise.” The entire student body was challenged to make this promise at the end of the assembly.
“We are so proud of our students and their commitment to making our school a safe and enriching environment,” Robinson said.
Carrying signs labeling the various negative emotions a victim of bullying may feel, Pea Ridge Middle School student peer mediators began an anti-bullying program Friday afternoon.