Morgan Dunn doesn't like bullying. So the third grader at Roanoke Avenue Elementary School decided to do something about it. During the first week of school, Morgan went to speak to the principal, Thomas Payton. "I want to start a no bullying club at school, and he said, 'That's a great idea.'"
The club is composed of 14 students from Donna Verbeck's class and run by Shannon Kutner, the Community Awareness Program social worker. "We all came together because Morgan had this idea," said Kutner.
The kids give up lunch and recess time every other week to meet and discuss ways to prevent bullying at Roanoke Avenue Elementary School. Today, Kutner read the group a book called The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy. In the book, Pete, the new kid at school, is behaving badly. His classmates don't stand by, instead they teach him about "The Promise."
Morgan and her classmates will be going to all the other classes in the school and reading the same story to others. Afterward, each child will have an opportunity to sign the Promise, in which they pledge to speak up instead of being a bystander, participate in activities that don't involve teasing, forgive others for poor choices, model good behavior, include others, talk to an adult when they need help, and be a difference in their school and community. The group considers themselves ambassadors for bully prevention.
October is National Anti-Bullying Month and Morgan and her classmates have all signed the Promise. The kids have also made posters, created a skit, and read other books about bullying. They are proud of their work and look forward to bringing the anti-bullying message to the whole school.
Photo caption (above): Students at Roanoke Avenue Elementary School sign the antibullying promise today. RiverheadLOCAL photo by Laurie Nigro
Slideshow photos by Peter Blasl