The Storm Lake seventh grade went through the Peter Yarrow, "Don't Laugh at Me" curriculum after the building -wide "Bullying" inter-disciplinary unit recently, and practiced those "bully-proofing" techniques in December.
The goal is to create a ridicule-free environment for all students. We will continue these activities throughout the school year. A benchmark for this unit will be an anonymously attributed poem, "To Laugh is To Risk,"
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental,
To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose our feelings is to risk exposing our true self,
To place your ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk loss,
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try at all is to risk failure,
But risk we must, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The man, the woman who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
Storm Lake Middle School first spent the week of November 12-16 focusing on the issue of bullying. In the wake of the Columbine tragedy, attention has turned to the prevention of taunting, teasing and bullying in our schools.
Schools are striving to "bully-proof" themselves. The end desire is to deter violence and aggression and protect young self-esteems from being wounded.
Students in grades 5-8 listened to Sue Farrar, a national speaker on the subject of bullying. They also had a chance to listen to school resource officer Jeff Nyren explain how bullying can be against the law.
The BVU basketball team also spent the day with students role playing and teaching students strategies in dealing with bullies.
The goal of this interdisciplinary unit was to teach students practical skills and ways of thinking that will bully proof them for life.