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Older Dragons teach younger Dragons bullying dangers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

“This is a very competitive group,” Holyoke Elementary principal Kyle Stumpf said. He was referring to a group of third through sixth grade students gathered in the gym at the school Tuesday, May 3.

The students weren’t there to play games or attend physical education class. Instead, they were there to listen to members of the Holyoke High School baseball team talk about bullying.

Stumpf said they are trying to give the students avenues to make the right decisions before bullying becomes a big issue within the school. “We’re trying to be proactive,” he added.

Stumpf said it was the perfect time for the elementary students to listen to the Dragon baseball team. The team held a 14-4 season record heading into the district tournament as the No. 1 seed. Not only do the younger kids look up to the Dragons, many of the high school students are teachers’ aides in the elementary school and are admired in that capacity as well.

On the flip side, Stumpf hopes the high schoolers think about their actions, as they are role models for the younger kids.

HHS senior Brian DeBoer asks freshman Trevor Dalton how he feels after not being
picked for a make believe game of dodge ball. Members of the HHS baseball team
performed a skit during their presentation about bullying for Holyoke Elementary
students Tuesday, May 3.       —Enterprise photo

Coach Kyle Bules told the students the Dragons have been successful this year because they trust each other, not only on the baseball diamond, but both in and out of school as well. They have worked with each other all year which has benefitted them both on and off the baseball diamond.

The Dragon baseball team performed a skit last Tuesday where two team captains chose teammates from a line for a make believe game of dodge ball. All but one, Trevor Dalton, had been picked. “He sucks,” someone yelled out. “We don’t want him on our team,” another said.

This was just one example the baseball team used to portray the wrong behavior. After the skit, the high schoolers asked the younger students what was wrong with their skit and what aspects of it were bullying.

Senior Brian DeBoer then asked students about different types of bullying including physical aggression, social alienation, verbal aggression and intimidation.

Elementary students were told to raise their hands if they had ever witnessed bullying and not done anything about it. Most of the hands in the room went up. “That’s way too many,” Bules said. “Come on guys,” he added.

They then were asked if they had ever bullied someone to keep their hand up. As expected, most went down. Baseball team members asked those with their hands still up why they bully others.

“Because I’m so competitive,” one student said. “Everybody wants to win,” said another. “Jealousy,” a third said.

The Dragons asked the students where bullying takes place. Recess was the most common answer but others said, “everywhere.”

HHS junior Reid Baumgartner told the kids that recess was for getting outside to run and have fun—not for poor sportsmanship.

Holyoke Elementary students raise their hands after being asked if they
have witnessed someone being bullied and didn’t do anything about it. They then
were asked if they have ever bullied someone and most of the hands went down.  
—Enterprise photo


Take 5 Initiative to be used

Something everyone at the elementary school is going to begin using is the Take 5 Initiative. Teacher Scott Dille said when someone is observed showing or using poor sportsmanship, they will be told to “take five.”

Stumpf said this is related to sports but works for every aspect of bullying.

When someone is told to “take five” they must take five laps around the area they are in, do five push-ups, five sit-ups, five jumping jacks and five mountain climbs. They must keep on doing those things until five minutes have passed.

Stumpf said the sixth-graders plan to spend some time with students in kindergarten through second grade to discuss bullying in the near future.

The Dragons ended last week’s assembly with a team huddle in which they asked the younger kids to participate. They broke the huddle using the word “family.”