Bulldogs Don’t Bully!

Ben Nichols, Staff Writer

Excited members of PEER are working hard to plan and present the Bulldogs Don’t Bully assembly to their fellow bulldogs in December. The presentation raises awareness about bullying and encourages students to prevent it.


The program consists of skits and scenarios designed to help students recognize when bullying is happening.


“I like how there’s a little bit of a difference with each group invited,” PEER Advisor Melanie Stender said. “They are the ones who decide the issues and how to approach it. It’s very personalized to each group.”


The assembly provides PEERs with an opportunity to step up and lead something that helps students all across the school. Oftentimes, this requires a large bulk of time creating and perfecting the assembly.


“On average, PEER begins the planning process about 6 week out from the scheduled performance day,” PEER Advisor Jessica Goddard said. “During that time, PEER meets before school once a week, so that all students have an opportunity to participate in the assembly.”


In past years, the assembly has proven to help students become aware about bullying around them. In fact, a general statistic from Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center shows that school-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by 25%.


“My expectation [for this assembly] is to increase awareness and tolerance for all students,” principal Timothy Flynn said.


Each edition of the assembly requires a large effort to perform. In addition, the PEERs ask for “stage sitters” to assist with the assembly. The stage sitter roles are only able to be filled by upperclassmen at Stone Bridge.


“We ask for stage sitters so that the freshmen can see that this is a student driven, student supported, school wide initiative,” Ms. Goddard said. “In addition, some students want to be involved in the assembly, but due to other commitments can’t attend the required meetings and practices. Having stage sitters allows these students to still actively be involved with Bulldogs Don’t Bully.”


However, the large workload does not leave PEERs stressed and unhappy. In contrast, PEERs are very happy that they’re able to do something that leaves a positive effect on the entire SBHS community.


“I’m super excited to get to know the freshmen,” junior Michaela Frames said. “They learn to be better friends, learn new skills, and get more positive energy overall.”


PEERs also go to feeder schools to perform assemblies to the students there, including Trailside Middle School and the various feeder elementary schools. They hope to leave a lasting impact and raised awareness about bullying across the area. PEERs have also seen a positive effect from these assemblies.


“I’ve seen a positive impact more in the number of students who will approach PEERs,” Ms. Stender said. “They’ll go, ‘Hey, I relate.’ I often hear about that positive effect from PEERs. Ms. Goddard and I are largely there to keep things moving smoothly, everything else is up to the PEERs.”