School club combats bullying

Students United with Parents and Educators to Resolve Bullying, supported by the Florida Endowment Foundation for Florida’s Graduates, features curriculum activities, lesson plans and games surrounding interpersonal relationships. A stipend is given to offset the cost of the teacher’s time for the after-school club.

Stephane Monereau oversees SUPERB at Piper.

“I’ve been affected by bullying,” he said. “When I heard about [the group], it was something I knew I had to do. Right now we have about 30 [students], and it has grown steadily.”

Club members wear white to show solidarity against bullying, decorated a bulletin board with an anti-bullying message and have adopted a school hallway, designating it as a bullying-free zone. The hope is to expand from there.

Club president Leo Peterson said they plan on visiting middle and elementary schools to spread the message.
“It was important to me to get involved because I see people being bullied,” he said. “I just wanted to help those who sometimes can’t help themselves to speak up and make it known to others that bullying is real inside school and other places. We need to do something about it or it will continue with no end.”

Alexandra Addison, a vice president, saw her older sister subjected to ridicule. She said Piper has a problem with students picking on each other and spreading rumors.

“When I see someone getting bullied, I’m not the bystander,” she said. “I try to do something about it. That’s why I wanted to really join the club. I wanted to spread the word that bullying is not acceptable, and it really can affect someone.”

Fellow vice president Tarah Staco was bullied through her first year of high school.

“It’s a different feeling when rumors get spread about you and nobody wants to talk to you anymore,” she said. “I believe through the club people will see it’s not right to mess with other people because you wouldn’t want to be treated the same way.”

SUPERB is in nearly a dozen schools.

“For us, the program is about helping kids understand diversity, celebrate diversity and identify students who are being excluded or isolated and reach out to them,” said Heather Beaven, the foundation’s CEO.

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Rosemary Oldendorf
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