Westside students combat bullying with new "Upstanders" program

Mallory Smith and Bailee Crowe (Source: KAIT)
Mallory Smith and Bailee Crowe (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Broadway musical's magic took the stage at Westside Schools Monday to teach students how to be "upstanders".

As Region 8 News reported in August, it's all part of a new program at the Westside School District.

Westside High School seniors Mallory Smith and Bailee Crowe dressed as Glinda and Elphaba to share Wicked's story of bullying and being nice to one another.

While students sang classic songs from Wicked, Carroll Little, Westside High School counselor, explained to elementary and middle school students why being a bully is bad and a new approach to combat the issue.

"Instead of asking the victim to stand up to the bully, it basically teaches kids that you can see a situation, pull the victim out of that situation, and never even have to talk to the bully," Smith said.

Once that is done, students are to go tell an adult about what happened.

"I think if you learn that there is a different way to go about a bullying situation other than confronting the bully, at a younger age, I feel like we can stop so many other situations that happen," Smith said.

They presented the program to high school students earlier this fall.

"After the further explanation and showing them more about it they were really excited about it and thought it would be really good for our school," Crowe said.

Little said the goal is to end bullying and equip students with skills to put a stop to it before it gets out of hand.

After the program, each grade declared anti-bullying ambassadors.

These students will be ready to be "upstanders" if any other students get bullied.

Little explained an "upstander" is a person who recognizes when something is wrong and acts to make it right.

This is the last presentation but the anti-bullying program will continue throughout the school year.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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