Redmond students learn anti-bullying tools

Youth Challenge cadets offer ideas

Redmond fifth-graders learn anti-bullying tools

REDMOND, Ore. - Fifth-graders at Redmond's Sage Elementary School learned a few tools Wednesday to deal with bullying. Cadets from the Oregon National Guard's Youth Challenge program visited to teach them how to stop bullying in its tracks.

The cadets are making sure that after kids enter school doors, bullying is the least of their worries.

They used four "tools" to show them how to stick up for themselves and others.

"One of them was the hammer, and that means you look them in the eye and you tell them to stop," said student Jace West.

"The flashlight," said Nicholas Rank, a Youth Challenge cadet. "So when they're being picked on, just ask why why why? So when someone is being rude, you just ask why?"

Essentially. they are teaching kids to ask bullies why they are being rude, to make them stop.

"The wrench one is, you just walk away," West said. "You want to keep your head up with a smile."

Brushing insults off your shoulder is one of the things the cadets taught the kids.

"We also have the pliers, so it's turn something negative into a compliment," Rank said.

Some of these tools seem hard to put into practice, but the fifth-graders were quick to think of examples.

"Like, Your shoes are dirty.' You say, 'Thanks! I just had fun going and playing in the mud,'" West said.

The problem is, a lot of the time children don't know they're bullying or being bullied -- that's why it's important to teach these tools at an early age.

"A lot of the kids, they don't know that they're doing it, and so it's that educational moment that we need to teach our kids," Sage Elementary counselor Angie Chown said.

Even if children don't realize they are bullying, feelings still get hurt.

"It made me feel really bad. like they were trying to take all my friends away," said fifth-grader Juliana Tarrats.

But now, she and the rest of the fifth-graders know how to fight against bullying in positive ways, and teach younger kids what they've learned.

"I have a 7-year-old brother, and I'm seeing him in two weeks, so I'll teach him, Tarrats said. "And I have a stepbrother, and I'll help him too."

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