HMS Partners with ‘Boston vs. Bullies’ Campaign

November 29, 2013

Hudson~Litchfield News
HMS Partners with 'Boston vs. Bullies' Campaign
by Marc Ayotte 

In an attempt to bring greater awareness tothe prevailing and growing issues surroundingbullying, Hudson Memorial School (HMS) haspartnered with The Sports Museum, a Bostonbased, private non-profit organization. HMSbecame involved with the entity that utilizesprofessional athletes from Boston area teams suchas the Celtics, Patriots and Revolution to speakto children regarding the problem of bullying.Relatedly, the program is geared somewhat tostudent athletes who, through athletics, may playa different and more effective role in deterringpotential bullying scenarios.

According to HMS Assistant Principal KeithBowen, Athletic Director John Fichera broughtthe concept of getting involved with the Bostonvs. Bullies program directly to him. As a result,the two traveled to Boston and attended aseminar at the Celtic's Executive Board room inthe TD Garden. In turn, the five-part programwhich entails addressing students, parents andteachers was implemented at HMS as a meansof enhancing or adding to the current in-houseand student-led 'Ambassadors of Hope' programwhich deals with bullying.

Representing The Sports Museum andconducting the presentation to the sixth througheighth grade students on Monday, November 25in the school's gymnasium was Ed Donnelly, aformer headmaster with 35 years of experiencein the Boston school system. In an entertaining,interactive and informative presentation, Donnellytouched upon various aspects of bullying, whichincluded differentiating between 'teasing vs.taunting' and 'telling vs. tattling'.

More importantly, he addressed through aslideshow and student-involved role playing, otherkey elements of how and why bullying exists.'Why Bystanders Stay Silent and Do Nothing,''Typical Bystander Reactions' along with 'IndirectIntervention' and 'Direct Intervention' methodswere topics of the interactive session whichactively involved dozens of students gathered forthe event.

Donnelly illustrated that 'boy bullying' isusually physical. He added that in this scenario,"It's about power." As a result, the male bully isinclined to enhance his feeling of empowermentby steering the altercation to an area where thereare no adults and few witnesses. Three directintervention techniques he touched upon with  respect to removing the victim and defusing thesituation were complimenting the bully, logic,and being a 'goofball.' Through all the options,  Donnelly impressed upon his audience the mostimportant action; which was to notify an adult inany situation that reflects bullying characteristics.

Regarding 'girl bullying', Donnelly notedthe difference in tactics between the gendersby saying that the females tend to attack theirvictims verbally; for example, by criticizing ormaking fun of the way one dresses or the way onelooks (outward appearance). Nonetheless, theintervention techniques and approach to defusethe bullying situations, he cited, should remainconsistent.

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