November 19th and 20th, Rotary Club of the Lowcountry targeted 6th graders of Beaufort County where many tell-tell signs start manifesting themselves in regards to bullying. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying brings fear and hopelessness into the life of an innocent person. Such action can mean misery for those who are subjected to bullying on a regular basis. These individuals are three times more likely to consider suicide than their peers. The booklets distributed will hopefully give guidance to someone being bullied and help others realize what they are doing is wrong.
Rotary Club of the Lowcountry partnered with Beaufort Country School District who worked with Beaufort High’sPerforming Arts Theatre Group to put on an assembly that every 6th grader in Beaufort County was invited to attend. Beaufort Middle, Lady’s Island Middle Robert Small’s Middle and Whale Branch Middle Schools all attend presentations at Beaufort High’s Performing Arts Center. The Theatre Group put on thought provoking skits and involved the students and the teachers. Beaufort High’s Theatre Group and Rotary Club of the Lowcountry then traveled to Bluffton Middle and Hilton Head Island Middle to put on the same presentation. The teachers were in attendance at the assembly as well since they are seeing some of these bullying behaviors taking place but unaware of the really harm being caused and may be turning a blind eye to the situation. The program was designed for the teachers to take action, let the victim know they don’t have to tolerate being treated this way, encourage bystanders who see something to say something and to let the bully’s know that this sort of behavior is not to be tolerated.
Rotary Club of the Lowcountry distributed anti-bullying activity books and bookmarks to each student as they exited the assembly. The school district also had the Rotarians distribute arm bands that had an anti-bullying message and telephone number listed in case they wanted to speak with someone outside their school.