Phillie Phanatic Visits Intermediate School for Anti-Bullying Campaign
The Anti-Bullying Program kickstarts Friday with a surprise guest.
Ocean City Intermediate School students filled the gymnasium with energy on Friday afternoon, expecting no more than an anti-bullying rally. What they didn't expect was the Phillie Phanatic to join the assembly.
Principal Geoffrey Haines began speaking about the Martin Luther King Jr. Day and how it tied in with bullying. A few students spoke to the audience about bullying and then a skit featuring five students began. Three students dressed in Phillies gear were being picked on by two students who were Yankee fans.
It was then the Phillie Phanatic rushed from the locker room and into the gym to join the skit. The students began cheering and hollering in surprise and the rally began.
"My favorite part was when the Phanatic tried to do a cartwheel," Kelly Haines said, with brothers Jack and Finn in agreement.
The Phillie Phanatic ran around the room hugging and kissing the students and dancing with some of the teachers. With high energy, the students sang along to songs and danced.
The Ocean City School System has adopted the Owleus Anti Bullying Program and has been kick starting the movement over the week in all three schools. Superintendent Kathleen Taylor explained the importance of the event.
"It shows examples of how to prevent bullying ... to not be a bystander and to be involved and support students," Taylor said.
One of the keys of the program is to show that the students are all in it together and no one will be left out. Through assemblies, decorations, and speeches, the students will learn what to do in a situation that involves bullying.
The anti-bullying rules are set forth and understood by the students:
- We will not bully others.
- We will try to help students who are bullied.
- We will try to include students who are left out.
- If we know that someone is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.
As a gift from the school, each student received a bracelet reading, "Be a Buddy, not a Bully."
"I was very excited for this. The students were well behaved and I hope they will take the message more serious now that someone famous came in," said Geoffrey Haines, the new Intermediate School principal.