Lakewood Begins School Year With Anti-Bullying Assembly

Baihly Warfield
Updated: September 14, 2018 06:15 PM

DULUTH, Minn. - Summer break is over, and as kids are back in school, they may be learning how to deal with conflict on top of their other subjects. 

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At Lakewood Elementary, bullying was the topic of its first all-school assembly. Through skits, fifth graders demonstrated examples of what bullying is and what it isn't. 

"Mia, Katelyn and Bella are all excluding me," Sephrya Caine explained her group's skit. "So I'm trying to ask them what they're doing, if I can play with them, and they're kind of just turning around. And then finally, they just walk away."

She said if that were happening in real life, she would feel lonely and excluded. 

"I would kind of not want to be friends with them anymore because they were being mean to me," Caine said.

Katelyn Neiding, another fifth grader in the skit, saw an easy solution. 

"Somebody could be the bigger person," Neiding suggested. "And if they're turning around, you'd say, 'Hey, you can play with us.'"

The girls' skit was an example of social bullying. Lakewood students learned bullying can also be physical or verbal. 

In another example, Jadyn Pederson walks up to another boy, Cal, and pushes him to the ground. His friends followed him. Pederson said there were many other ways that situation could have gone.

"Cal could stand up for himself, and Jace, Anna and Spring could tell me not to push him down and help him up," he said. "And I could just not push him down originally."

Principal Darren Sheldon reminded students that there are accidents. He said that sometimes, kids are quick to call situations bullying when it may not be. 

Heather Kemp teaches fifth grade and is Lakewood's PBIS coach. PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. 

"It's a system set up school-wide so that students know different behavior expectations in different parts of the building," Kemp explained.

She said assemblies like Friday's help all kinds of learners think about how to respond. 

"By actually having demonstrations on ... this is what bullying might look like, but then also having really good examples of this is what a student could do if they were being bullied or if they saw another student be bullied, it gives them more tools to work with in different situations," Kemp said.

Caine said there was one thing she wanted other students to take from the assembly.

"They should include people," she said.


Baihly Warfield

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