Play offers innovative approach to bullying prevention

By Tracy Clemons – bio|e-mail

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA)-  Wednesday, we shared the story of bullying allegations in Caddo Parish that some claim led to incidents that left several students suspended. Thursday, students at one school in Shreveport got to see an interactive bullying prevention exercise.

A play called "Bullied," produced by Sculpted Entertainment, goes to elementary and middle schools throughout Caddo and Bossier parishes. Its purpose is to show students what bullying is, and its effects.

"It's just about everyday pressures that students have to deal with, like name calling, punching, fighting, being bored. We even have an extra scene about teacher and adult bullying and dating pressures," says Stephanie Icke.

Icke wrote the play. She says got the idea from principals that this kind of approach to bullying prevention was needed.

"Actually seeing it happen, versus somebody just talking about it, it has opened doors. We've even had students come up to us like 'hey what if this happens at home?' or 'what do I do with this?'"

Wednesday's performance was at Southfield School in Shreveport.

"It made it a lot more real, and it made me notice that it does happen, and that we should all take charge of it more," says Southfield sixth grader Molly Bowman. "I learned that whenever people bully, it's usually because they either have problems at home or they're self conscious about themselves."

Icke says people should know the facts- "The number one place bullying happens is actually on the bus. The second is during breaks. It's when the kids are not occupied with something...when they're bored."

She adds that they should communicate.

"We recommend talking to the bully because---if they get called out politely, they'll be like 'oh , she's not gonna let me bully her anymore.'"

Molly Bowman says she heard the message loud and clear.

"The next time somebody tells me that someone was talking about me, or I hear somebody talking about my friend or somebody getting hurt, I will just stick up for them and communicate because they say communication is the best thing."

Sculpted Entertainment plans to start touring with a play for high schoolers in January. There will be a fund raising performance, with Hiding Place Ballet, on November 4 at Strand Theatre

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