In partnership with ICare, Southern University took part in an Anti-Bullying Expo at Buchanan Elementary school. ICare is a nonprofit organization that was founded to promote educational opportunities and programs to the youth of the Greater Baton Rouge area over the past 30 years.
Consisting of 11 groups of current Southern University students enrolled in CRIN211, or the Principles of Education, the Bully Prevention Expo featured many presentations and activities that were geared towards promoting anti-bullying practices to the students in attendance. The students of Buchanan who had a chance to take part in said activities consisted of the younger age groups.
The Southern University students of Dr. Emily Jackson-Osagie, Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, was charged with making presentations and activities that would earn the students’ attention and consisted of a wide range of conversation pieces and talk exercises. “We wanted to make it a fun and informative day for the children,” said Dr. Jackson-Osagie.
For some students who would be making presentations, the process of creating a lesson plan that can be effective for the children who would attend the expo was the first issue that many students had to cross.
“First, we had to do a lesson plan, and based off that [plan] and goal that we set, we came up with activities for the kids,” said Sydni Simin, a sophomore elementary education major from Lafayette, Louisiana.
According to the students in attendance, the presentations themselves were geared towards being entertaining, but also informative so that they served the purpose of making the elementary students aware of the several types of bullying.
“Our main objective for this bullying expo was the students would learn three different types of bullying. It includes verbal, physical, and cyber. And they’ll learn the effects that bullying causes to a person, such as self-harm and depression,” said Brandon Horne, a freshman history education major from Monroe, Louisiana.
The issue that many presenters were met with on making their lesson plan for the expo was incorporating the things that young kids like. Whether it be pop culture, social media, or video games, the presenters were forced to implement their own, unique method of capturing and keeping the attention of their audience.
“Most of them are into gaming- Fortnite and Minecraft, [so] we just chose cyber-bullying, because sometimes if they’re losing, they say words that are inappropriate,” said La’Drekia Doucet, a junior elementary education major from Eunice, Louisiana about the connection she has seen between hateful language and the online video game community.
Doucet continued by going more in-depth about her method of making the children aware of the cyber-bullying threat that comes along with video gaming. “We just want to encourage them to use positive words and then they take a pledge—‘No Mean Screen’,” said Doucet. According to La’Drekia, this pledge is meant to remind them to be aware of the language that they use when in front of the internet on live forums and game rooms.
- Bullying throughout America has reached all-time highs as the internet age has reached its apex in many regards. To combat this in the ways that they can, Southern University, in concert with ICare, will continue to take part in anti-bullying activities and expos for semesters to come.