By: Annie Szatkowski, CBS Channel 3 kimt.com
Published: Monday, May 13, 2013, 5:01 PM CDT
MASON CITY, IA – From school classrooms, to the national news, the topic of bullying is getting a lot of attention. And while things are falling flat with an anti-bullying bill in the Iowa House, there is hope for another kind of bullying prevention program in a local school. The songs are fun and uplifting, but the message is serious.
Rock in Prevention Lead Presenter, Todd Stevens said, “We use music as a tool to teach anti-bullying, character education, alcohol and other drug prevention, today we’re here for anti-bullying.” These Newman Elementary students are rocking out and learning how to take a stand.
Stevens said, “Students look up to the upper classmen, so they see role models that are actually supporting anti-bullying and that enforces the message to the younger students.”
Those mentors are Newman high schoolers. Ruiz Detrick has some personal experience with bullying and jumped at the chance to help. Detrick said, “I used to get bullied here too, so I want to help prevent it so no one else has to go through it.” And the younger kids are loving it.
4th Grader, Angela Schutt said, “I liked the part where we went up and did the skits, because it taught us a lot.” At the end of the presentation, students get a C.D. with all the cool songs they learned, but they’re also taking home a family follow-up survey, so they can share the positive message with Mom and Dad.
Because many times, bullying doesn’t just happen in school. Stevens said, “Often, it is learned in the home and so it’s really hard to work against that dynamic.” Todd says that’s part of the reason putting a stop to bullying is a community effort. And even students think the failed anti-bullying bill in Iowa is proof we still have a long way to go.
Detrick said, “I think if we got more people actually seeing what is going on in our schools, I think people would actually realize there’s more that goes on under the radar than most people think of.”