PROUD students teach how to handle a bully

Second grade students Lilly Robinson, left, Priyanka Palayekar, Elizabeth Barabash, Nathan Meyer, Lucas Schmieg and Koy Buesgens listen as New Prague High School student Lucy Nickolay reads "Chester Raccoon and the Big, Bad Bully" on Wednesday, Dec. 5. To see more photos click on the blue button to the right. (Patrick Fisher Photo)

How do you handle a bully? New Prague High School students in PROUD (People Respecting Others and Understanding their Differences) taught elementary school students about that during recent visits.

The high school students in the group, which is in its second year, read stories and talked with the younger students about bullies. PROUD visited Falcon Ridge Elementary in New Prague on Wednesday, Dec. 5, and Eagle View Elementary in Elko New Market on Thursday, Dec. 6. They were scheduled to be at Raven Stream Elementary on Monday, Dec. 10, but that has been rescheduled.

At Falcon Ridge Elementary School PROUD students read "Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully" by Audrey Penn to second graders. In the story Chester tells his mom about a bully and she helps him deal with the bully. PROUD students read "Bullies Never Win" by Margery Cuyler to the 1st graders at Eagle View.

"The reactions by the students were so positive - both high school and elementary students alike," said Janel Hengel, advisor to the PROUD students. "The elementary school students were able to verbalize where they see bullying and how they can stop it."

Hengel explained they discussed a three-step process for dealing with a bully. The first step is to tell the bully to STOP! Second, elementary school students were taught to WALK! away, and third, TALK! to tell someone like a recess monitor or teacher.

PROUD students will be working with the elementary schools on other programs. They will also address the fifth graders in the spring and plan to visit with New Prague Middle School students.

PROUD has had more than 150 high school students actively participate at some time this year. It has either been in an after school meeting or take part in outside of school projects.