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February 7, 2014

Stop, Talk and Walk, 412th SFS shares anti-bullying message

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Rebecca Amber
Staff Writer

McGruff, The Crime Dog, portrayed by Staff Sgt. Dwayne Keiser, 412th Security Forces Squadron, Electronic Security Services, makes his grand entrance into the Branch Elementary school auditorium for an anti-bullying presentation Jan. 30.

The 412th Security Forces Squadron partnered with Branch Elementary School to bring an anti-bullying message to the student body Jan. 30 in the auditorium.

The group offered two presentations, one for the kindergarten through second graders and a more advanced format for the third through sixth grade group.

Senior Airman Philip Hamlet, 412th Security Forces Squadron, Police Services, coordinated the presentations which included a video, skits and a visit from McGruff, The Crime Dog and his nephew Scruff. For the older children, they included information about cyber-bullying.

“Our goal for the presentation was to give Branch Elementary, the student body, a good opportunity to understand exactly what bullying is, some identifying factors and prevention methods at their level. We wanted to keep it very simple for them, stuff that they could relate to,” said Hamlet.

The video encouraged students who are experiencing bullying to utilize the “Stop, Talk and Walk” method. Students were also taught that it’s important to stand up against bullying to protect their community.

McGruff (left) and his nephew Scruff (right), portrayed by Senior Airman Anthony Betancourt, 412th Security Forces Squadron, Reports and Analysis, high-fives students following the anti-bullying presentation.

“The video portrayed a couple of different messages as far as bullying, respect for yourself and the community and I think those factors, especially in the military, are what we pride ourselves by,” said Hamlet.

In a situation with cyber-bullying, Hamlet recommends that a student, “deactivate Facebook, block cell phone numbers and do anything possible to get the bullies away.” He added that it’s important to be “cognizant of who you allow on your social media and who you allow to text message you. And, to be mindful of the content that you’re allowing yourself to be accustomed to.”

Samuel Pacheco, principal at Branch Elementary School, said that it’s important to teach children to recognize bullying at school.

“I think it’s important to always educate the students about bullying-type situations and give them strategies that allow them to feel safer and be safer at school,” said Pacheco.

He went on to say that if one child is being affected by bullying, chances are, there are several others in the same situation.

“You have to be careful because you never want bullying situations to occur at the school and unfortunately, sometimes that does happen. So, it’s very important that we provide the guidance for kids and that they know where to go for assistance and support,” said Pacheco.




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