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SADD students educate peers on bullying

RICK CRIDER / Enquirer Journal. Ashley Lantz, victim services coordinator with United Family Services, spoke to CATA students on Wednesday. After a SADD presentation by students about bullying, Lantz described how sexual assault and bullying share similar traits.

(Reprinted with Permission from the Enquirer Journal)

Members of the Central Academy of Technology & Arts' (CATA) Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) club taught fellow students about bullying Wednesday morning.

Through a combination of a Powerpoint presentation and SADD club members reading out facts and other information about bullying, the group informed some of the school's classes about ways to not be a bully, ways to deal with a bully, people they can go to if they have bullying issues and other tips. After the SADD students gave their presentation, Ashley Lantz, victim services coordinator with United Family Services spoke a little further on bullying as well as sexual assault and other related topics.

"Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time," Megan Booth, a SADD club member said during the presentation.

Other topics focused on during the SADD presentation included types of bullying, the consequences and impact of bullying, people at the school students could talk to about bullying and other information.

"I think kids should be aware of bullying," Sierra Walters, a sophomore at the school and SADD club member, said.

She liked the presentation they put together and thought it was a good way to reach students in the school, she said.

Kaley Kirby, another member of the SADD club, also thought the club's presentation went well and saw it as a good way to encourage students not to be bullies.

"When I was a child, I was abused and I was bullied," Kirby said.

To her, the program was a good way to get students thinking about bullying and the effects it can have, she said.

There is not a lot of bullying at the school, but the club's presentation can help stop bullying when it does happen, Travis Wadsworth, another SADD member, said.

"It gives students a chance to hear from other students," he said.

Shaun Poole, the school's principal, had similar thoughts about the presentation.

"They're hearing it directly from the horse's mouth," Poole said.

Instead of having a teacher or other professional talk about bullying, it's good for the the students to hear about it from other students. Teachers in the school were given the opportunity to sign up their classes to sit in on the presentation, he said.

This year, there were only a few incidents of bullying reported at the school. A lot of it involved disagreements and differences in opinion. In some cases, factors outside of the school played a role in the bullying. Today, social media can also play a part in bullying, he said.

In addition to the student's part of the presentation, Lantz worked to educate students about sexual assault, intimidation and other issues. She focused on facts about rape, making good decisions, effects of sexual assault, rape and other situations on victims and what people can do to respond to these types of situations and help those involved.

"Just know to be there for that friend, help them through that time," Lantz said during her presentation.

She also emphasized the importance of victim's rights, not blaming the victim and being there for them.

She worked to make the first part of her presentation comical for the students to get their attention but became more serious later on to emphasize her points. She felt that the students seemed to be paying attention and listening to the the message and information she presented. She previously gave a similar presentation at Wingate University, she said.

Outside of the auditorium where the bullying presentation took place, SADD students set up a table where students could sign anti-bullying pledges. A number of students did and by the end of the event, the club had a banner full of names of students who signed the pledge.

"I'm just so proud of the SADD kids," Shawn Parler, a school resource officer from the Monroe Police Department and SADD advisor said.

There were students in the club both onstage and behind the scenes who helped put together the presentation, she said.

Written by: Lacey Hampton
Posted: Mar 23, 2012 by Deb Christensen

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