Two Nottingham High School Seniors are waiting to see if their “Bully Proof” campaign to shield and stop others from bullying will advance from the State level to a national competition.
Claire Breed and Deasia Hawkins are members of Decca Club. They decided they could make a difference in the lives of young people… even much younger than high school.
“We kind of wanted to produce people who are bully proof. So they don’t let anyone to tell them who they should be. Because they should be the only one(s) to do that. So, they’re bully proof in that sense, and they’ll refrain from being the bully.” - Claire Breed
Breed says she endured some mild bullying growing up because she was only one of three Asian students in her school. The Seniors’ efforts also resulted in a collaboration with Open Hand Theater. They both watched students at Ed Smith School today enjoy a play with positive messages.
“Believe in your dreams. Get a fresh start. Look all around you. Do your part! The world can be a better place by far…” -(Excerpt of a song from the Open Hand Theater Presentation “The Chocolate War)
We want to really address the issue that it also starts a young age. That’s why we’re here at Ed Smith because even if a five year-old doesn’t understand the concept of bullying; they can still be influenced by it. And then they’ll grow up thinking that behavior is right. And we want to correct that before it gets to its peak.” - Deasia Hawkins
Ed Smith Elementary Social Worker Linda Kraemer thinks the presentation reaches students in a unique way.
“It kind of highlights a lot of the bullying and anti-bullying things we’ve been talking about. So for them to see an outside agency come in and kind of give kind of the same messages we’ve been giving in a fun way through Open Hand Theater, I think it’s just very powerful.”
The Decca Club students from Nottingham hope to take their “Bully Proof” campaign to their own school and others throughout the Syracuse City School District. They’ll find out if they’re advancing to the national competition next week. Click here to visit their Facebook page.