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Groups take a preemptive strike against bullying

April 10, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

During the next two months, every elementary school and sixth-grade student in the Randolph County School system will be treated to a special performance by the Old Brick Playhouse's touring company. While most children may enjoy taking a break from class for some entertainment, they will come away with new skills and knowledge they can use throughout their lives.

"The Box," an original children's play, employs improvisation, comedy, magic and live statuary to provide the audience with practical skills for coping with difficult situations - namely bullying. The message and tools presented teach children why it's important to accept others who are different from them and to be nice to everyone.

Bullying appears to be a growing problem in Randolph County schools. Last month, Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Phares said employees have put in more than 500 hours in the current school year investigating incidents of bullying and harassment, and the school system has hired a retired educator to take statements from students.

Initiating a partnership with the Old Brick Playhouse to put on the anti-bullying performance for a second consecutive year is a proactive step. The group also provides teachers with a packet of information they can use later to help instill the message.

Old Brick Playhouse Executive Director Missy Armentrout McCollam said, "Prevention must be a collaborative effort between schools, parents, students and community members." We agree, and we encourage additional similar programs that will teach students in all grade levels how kindness can benefit the culture of their entire school.



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