About 70 percent of Scripps Middle School students said they'd been bullied during an anti-bullying assembly hosted by the Detroit Pistons, Palace Sports & Entertainment and corporate partners Metro PCS and Absopure on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
As students piled into the Lake Orion High School auditorium, wearing matching “It Stops Now” t-shirts, they were greeted by DJ Prevue, Detroit Pistons in-game DJ, who played an array of popular music to set the tone for the beginning of the anti-bullying program.
This assembly, along with prevention resources and curriculum provided by the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, helps kick-off the school year at Scripps Middle School with a strong stance against any behaviors identified as bullying and strong encouragement of positive peer relationships.
Assistant Coach Dee Brown, Mason, the Detroit Pistons announcer, Pistons dance entertainment Group D-Town and Deena Centofanti, of Fox 2 News, provided engaging and exciting entertainment for the student body about the impact of bullying within their school.
Mason involved the middle school audience by asking them what they thought bullying was. Multiple students responded with answers involving people being rude to one another, abusing others mentally and physically, and hurting other people’s feelings for a long period of time.
Centofanti, who is a Fox 2 News anchor, Lake Orion resident and mother, brought along a short movie clip that depicted what it’s like to be bullied. The clip opened student’s eyes about how deep the impact can be to someone who is bullied.
“You have the power to change this dynamic, you know what’s going on, you’re the one who can make the change,” Centofanti said during the assembly. “Maybe you go out of your way to talk to the new kid, make friends with someone you’ve never talked to before, but only you, the bystander, can play the important role in changing this,” she added.
Pistons assistant Coach Dee Brown also made an appearance and talked to the student body about the importance of having a good support system and knowing the significance of friendship.
“Value your friendships, value your family,“ Brown told the students.
Using the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, Scripps Middle School has committed to year-round education to prevent bullying as well as to improve peer relations within the school. At the end of the assembly the middle schoolers took a pledge against bullying in the future.
School bullying takes on many forms, and it is done by both girls and boys. A recent U.S. study shows that 17 percent of all students reported having been bullied "sometimes" or more often. This amounts to almost one in five students. Bullying is a serious issue and should not be ignored. For more information and tips on preventing and dealing with bullies please visit the Olweus website.