Ohio University Lancaster Theatre And Media Students Join Rushville Middle School to Fight Bullying
Lancaster - About 40 Ohio University Lancaster Theatre students, several Media students, and three professors are assisting Rushville Middle School in the kick off and implementation of a progressive anti-bullying program. For the past year, a committee of administrators, staff, faculty, and community members have been preparing and training in the internationally recognized O.L.W.E.U.S. Bully Prevention Program.The official kick off of their integrated program will be October 17 at Rushville Middle School.
"Theatre students are fine tuning their acting skills while educating the students about the different types of bullying. Four scenes are being filmed around the OUL campus this week and will be shown to the Middle School students.Teachers and students will then talk about possible solutions to the scenes they just watched," says Victor Jones, theatre director.
Theatre students will also be on hand the day of the event at Fairfield Union and will do "flash mob" style bullying examples during the lunch hours. The theatre students are all part of the Acting Fundamentals I class at OUL.
The O.L.W.E.U.S. Program is a comprehensive, school-wide program designed and evaluated for use in elementary, middle, or junior high schools. The program's goals are to reduce and prevent bullying problems among school children and to improve peer relations at school. The O.L.W.E.U.S. Program, originating in Sweden, has been implemented in more than a dozen countries around the world and in thousands of schools in the United States. As part of the program, Rushville Middle School conducted a comprehensive quantitative study of their school and trained all personnel in the bystander approach.
"Bullying is a very real issue in our community," says Bully Prevention Committee member and OUL Instructor Dr. Pamela Kaylor. "Statistically, the National Education Association reports that about 35 percent of students from 12-18 are bullied each year in the United States. As a parent, I hear about the horrific effects of bullying from my daughter and her friends. Some parents say they survived bullying as kids but the reality is that times have changed and bullying has gotten worse. It's not the same as when we were children."
Besides the full day of activities during the school day, kick-off events will be held on October 17 from 5:30-7:30 and will include a DJ, bounce houses, tables of information from supporting organizations, anti-bullying materials, and other activities.