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Published: Thursday, 3/21/2013

Anti-bullying efforts spark at Woodland Elementary, summit for Perrysburg district

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Woodland Elementary fifth-grade students who made an anti-bullying video for the school to see are with Valerie Hovland, left, Perrysburg Board of Education member and Superintendent Tom Hosler, back right, and teacher Jeanna Heuring. The students are, front row from left, Austin Brooks, Ruthie Lin, Josh Boyers, Duncan Russell.  Back row from left:  Bryce Ruddock, Chase Mackiewicz, Thomas Clark-Phelps, Daniel Feng, Ben Martz. Woodland Elementary fifth-grade students who made an anti-bullying video for the school to see are with Valerie Hovland, left, Perrysburg Board of Education member and Superintendent Tom Hosler, back right, and teacher Jeanna Heuring. The students are, front row from left, Austin Brooks, Ruthie Lin, Josh Boyers, Duncan Russell. Back row from left: Bryce Ruddock, Chase Mackiewicz, Thomas Clark-Phelps, Daniel Feng, Ben Martz.
PERRYSBURG SCHOOLS Enlarge

Jeanna Heuring's 10 gifted fifth-grade students made a video for all of Woodland Elementary, as well as the Perrysburg Board of Education, to see.

The video features a Mission Impossible theme, rap, and chants, all meant to encourage fellow students to stop bullying, report it, and stand up for fellow students.

The topic of bullying will be discussed during an upcoming public event in Perrysburg. 

"Students are more engaged when another student gives the message," Ms. Heuring said. "It was a more engaging and creative way to get the message across."

Her favorite part of the project was when one of her students who is more shy and into science fiction things wanted to do a rap. 

"He was really creative with his anti-bullying rap. I was impressed by his lyrics," Ms. Heuring said. "To see him come out of his shell to rapping was really cool."

An anti-bullying summit, open to the community, will be presented from 7 to 8:30 p.m. today at the Commodore Building auditorium in downtown Perrysburg. 

The video and the summit are tied to the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, a whole-school program designed to prevent or reduce bullying throughout a school setting. The program's goals are reducing existing bullying problems among students, preventing the development of new bullying problems, and achieving better peer relations at school.

The discussion panel at the meeting will include Paul Dobson, Wood County prosecutor; Detective Patrick Jones, Perrysburg Police Department; David Smigelski with the law firm Spengler Nathanson; Lisa Pescara-Kovach, University of Toledo; Beth Christoff, Toth Elementary principal; Robin Laird, Perrysburg Junior High assistant principal; and Tom Hosler, Perrysburg Schools superintendent.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Paul Dobson to offer this opportunity to parents in our community,” Mr. Hosler said. “We hope that parents will gain important knowledge about the challenges students are facing and what they can do to provide the support their children need.”

The panel will discuss the definition of bullying, how schools handle bullying, strategies for parents, bullying outside of school, cyberbullying, and liability. There will be a half hour for questions after the panel discussion.

"We're working with kids at a young age to teach them it is not acceptable," Ms. Heuring said. "We are trying to build a community in the school were everyone is treated with kindness and respect. We want kids to stand up for each other too, so kids don't feel so alone."

The summit is being presented by the Perrysburg Schools and Mr. Dobson. There is no admission charge.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com or 419-356-8786 or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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