A 9/11 program held at North Augusta High School last fall led members of the school’s Future Business Leaders of America club to take a stand against bullying.
The students created “I will” statements regarding issues and activities they wanted to educate others about or participate in. One of the statements they made was to put a stop to bullying.
The students have visited area elementary and middle schools to talk with pupils and teachers about bullying — types of bullying, how to discourage bullying and intervention techniques if a child is bullied — through a program called TAB: Teaching Adolescents & Adults about Bullying.
“We wanted to target the middle school because it is a make-it-or-break-it point for students,” FBLA member Hannah Reese said. “It’s where they begin to discover who they are, and peer pressure is really starting. We wanted to talk with the fourth- and fifth-grade students, too, because they will soon be in middle school, so if we can get to them early, then maybe it will help put a stop to bullying.”
During a presentation at North Augusta Elementary School on Feb. 13, the students addressed fourth- and fifth-grade pupils using skits, a PowerPoint presentation and leading a chant against bullying.
“The big thing for us to incorporate was how to handle bullying,” Hannah said. “We wanted to emphasize that fighting is not the answer.”
Fellow presenter Matthew Larry agreed.
“They see a lot of things on TV and think it’s the way to handle things, but we want to show them that there are other, much better ways to handle it,” he said.
The presenters also shared personal experiences with bullies and how they handled the situations and spoke about the consequences of bullying.
They also hoped the presentation gave those who are being bullied, or see someone being bullied, the courage to speak up and tell adults, Hannah said.