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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.”
Bullying: we don’t do that here!” Students in Ankeny’s schools are learning that message through Rock In Prevention during October, as part of the district’s on-going commitment to bullying prevention. The program, created by Pat McManus, is a unique workshop bringing high school and elementary students together for the common goal to prevent bullying and create a caring community.
“I’m super excited about this project with the Ankeny schools!” said Pat McManus.
Ankeny High School and Ankeny Centennial High School students were trained by the Rock staff to teach Ankeny elementary students the importance of academic achievement and how to be successful at school and in life.
“The high school mentors have an extremely positive impact on the younger children and have a blast presenting the program,” said McManus. “And if you ever want a person to learn something, have them teach it! There are intrinsic rewards for all people when they know they are helping others.”
During the program, students and teachers were trained together so that everyone knows what to say and what to do in order to confront bullying immediately when they see it. In McManus’ experience he’s found that once everyone is on the same page, dealing with bullying becomes much more of an automatic response.
“Students and staff learn methods of sharing encouragement, kindness and caring to reinforce that we don’t do that here,” said McManus. “You can’t prevent bullying without introducing positive behaviors that a person can put in to practice.”
The program is sustained in the classroom through follow-up guides involving discussions and CDs of the songs learned during the Rock workshops. The anti-bullying message is further reinforced with a family guide and CDs that go home with each student to help with family discussion and involvement.
“Rock In Prevention Introduces Innovative Anti-Bullying Program Using Music”
1 in 3 students are bullied in our American schools, and 1 in 4 who bully grow up to have criminal records. By providing practical, positive prevention tools Rock In Prevention has become the Non Profit Organization to watch as their new and innovative lessons help our schools and children with the tools to coupe with bullying. These tools are provided by the Rock LIVE Anti-Bullying Program that utilizes songs, specialized curriculum and interactive exercises as teaching tools. Click here to read the article about rock in prevention.
DES MOINES, Iowa, May 1, 2012