The Youth Center hosted the “Bullying is NOT Nice” event Feb. 7 during Funtastic Friday. It was an interactive group discussion with youth ages 6 to 12 on the subject of stopping bullying. Participants learned how to respond to bullying, how to ask for help and the importance of speaking up against bullying.
“The purpose of the event is to educate young children about bullying and what to do if they’re in a bullying situation,” said Capt. Amber Rodgers, 56th Medical Operations Squadron licensed clinical social worker. “It will also help children learn how to advocate for themselves and be more aware of their surroundings.”
Before the event started, participants watched a documentary called “Bully,” which portrayed bullying that adults hear about but rarely see. This film catapulted a movement, sounding the alarm about the critical and dangerous issue of bullying, Rodgers said.
After the movie, the children played a spin-the-wheel game. On the wheel were different types of villains from Disney movies such as Cruella de Vil, Yzma, Hades and more. Wherever the wheel landed, the children had to explain why the villain was a bully. This exercise gave the children a chance to have a friendly debate about why the villains were bullies.
“Family advocacy always has Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month in February and part of that is bullying awareness,” said Sheryl Bush, 56th Force Support Squadron Youth Programs coordinator. “So this event has been going on for many years, and hopefully more kids will learn about the effects of bullying.”
Participants were in overall agreement that the event was a success with a lot of valuable information given to children to make them more aware of bullying and take steps to end it. The next stop bullying event will be held Feb. 28 at the youth center. For more information call 623-856-7470.