Centennial Junior High students fight bullying

Apr 11 2013 - 11:18pm

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Students at Centennial Junior High sign a banner as a pledge to stop bullying in their school in Kaysville, Thursday April 11, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Students at Centennial Junior High sign a banner as a pledge to stop bullying in their school in Kaysville, Thursday April 11, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Students at Centennial Junior High sign a banner as a pledge to stop bullying in their school in Kaysville, Thursday April 11, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Centennial Junior High student Gabe Adams (left) urges his fellow classmates to stop the bullying and join the campus "revolution" in Kaysville, Thursday, April 11, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Students at Centennial Junior High sign a banner as a pledge to stop bullying in their school in Kaysville, Thursday April 11, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Students at Centennial Junior High sign a banner as a pledge to stop bullying in their school in Kaysville, Thursday April 11, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Students at Centennial Junior High sign a banner as a pledge to stop bullying in their school in Kaysville, Thursday April 11, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Centennial Junior High student Gabe Adams (left) urges his fellow classmates to stop the bullying and join the campus "revolution" in Kaysville, Thursday, April 11, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)

KAYSVILLE -- Students in brightly colored T-shirts inundated the lunch room at Centennial Junior High School on Thursday in an effort to start what they called an "anti-bullying revolution."

As the students sat to eat their lunches, several of their peers -- all wearing fluorescent yellow T-shirts emblazoned with the words "Stand Up to Bullying" -- performed a flash mob by dancing to the front of the room and stomping to upbeat music.

The event caught the attention of the rest of the students who were eating lunch, and provided an opportunity for the group to share their message to prevent bullying.

"We decided to start this revolution because we really want people to come to this school and feel like it is a safe environment and it's a friendly environment. We don't want our peers to feel alone or left out. So we thought that if every single person in this school could start their own personal revolution, it will make this a schoolwide revolution and everyone can make a difference," said Zoe Johnson, 15, student body president.

The idea for an "anti-bullying revolution" stemmed from discussions that occurred in Nicole Deaton's health classes at the school.

Deaton said that at the beginning of the school year the student body viewed a presentation from Nick Vujicic -- a motivational speaker who was born without arms or legs. Vujicic's story of overcoming his challenges to become successful and inspirational to many people inspired her students to be a positive source for change in their environment.

"We really want to set an example to everyone that you can make a change, you can be the change, and you can help others. I'm really trying to reach out to people. I'm going to stand up to people who are bullying. I want to reach out to those kids who may feel bullied or may feel alone," said Johnson.

Also involved in the flash mob presentation was Gabe Adams, a Centennial Junior High School student who Deaton said was also born without arms or legs.

After the flash mob dance, Adams rolled his wheelchair to the front of the room and told students that he had been bullied. He said he knew how it felt to be bullied, so he was joining the schoolwide revolution to prevent it.

Canada Johanson, 13, said, "I chose to be an ally against bullying because bullying hurts. To be an ally, you can't just not be a bully, you have to stand up to bullies and help other people who are being bullied."

Students were asked to sign a large banner that will hang in the commons area stating that they had pledged to help stop bullying.

They were also offered the opportunity to purchase their own brightly colored T-shirts. Deaton said she plans to encourage students to wear the shirts occasionally throughout the rest of the school year.

Administrators said they are hoping the event will bring a positive change.

Assistant Principal Jeff Williams said:

"I think that anytime you bring attention to a problem -- and there are bullying problems at every school -- the awareness helps the kids pay attention and be willing to help others. It also helps the adults be more aware, so the kids can talk to the adults to help solve any problems."

 

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