Beaufort High students’ anti-bullying show invited to Rotary Zone meeting
A troupe of drama students from Beaufort High School is attracting growing numbers of fans who support the group’s anti-bullying show, and local Rotarians think so much of the students’ work that they bankrolled a trip to a regional Rotary conference in North Carolina.
“If You See Something, Say Something,” is a collection of dramatic sketches aimed at getting students to intervene or contact responsible adults when they witness their fellow students being bullied.
“It’s a very positive message delivered in a very powerful way,” said Bill Evans, chairman of the Beaufort County School Board and a member of the Rotary Club of the Lowcountry. “And it’s exciting to see the production’s creativity and energy gaining a wider audience.”
The Zone 33 Rotary Peace Symposium April 5 in Chapel Hill, N.C. attracted Rotarians from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The Beaufort High group performed last month at an Eastern South Carolina Rotary conference in Myrtle Beach, where the students also participated in a question-and-answer session and discussed ways in which the show might serve as a model for statewide Rotary programs.
Seven Rotary clubs in Beaufort County – Hilton Head, Van Landingham, Sunset, Bluffton, Beaufort, Sea Island and Lowcountry – contributed to defraying the drama students’ traveling expenses to Chapel Hill, and the school district is covering their transportation costs.
Beaufort High Drama Director LaRaine Fess and her students performed their show to sixth-graders across Beaufort County earlier this year. Rotary Club of the Lowcountry members distributed anti-bullying activity books and bookmarkers to students as they left the assemblies, and both contained the school district’s toll-free anti-bullying hotline numbers (843-322-2435 or 866-611-1102) and e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
“Rotary’s partnership with this performance – and the club’s broader partnership with the school district to help prevent bullying – is what schools and communities should be all about,” said Chief Student Services Officer Gregory McCord. “We continue to receive messages from middle-schoolers throughout the district who talk about how the show has helped to change their attitudes and perceptions, either as an active participant in bullying or as an observer.
“At the end of the day, we have students and the community fully engaged in support of a unified message”, McCord added.