Teacher combats bullying through skits starring students

News 12 This Morning/Thursday January 16, 2014

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW)--"I wanted to create a lesson on conflict resolution for the school," said Robb Underwood. "And I wanted to come up with something that the students could identify with. Something that was a little bit outside the box."

So, Underwood, guidance counselor at Aiken Middle School came up with some ideas for students to act out.

"I thought that it would give them a good chance to not only see it instead of just be told about it but I also had the idea to use their peers in the video [because] I just felt like if I was a student sitting in the classroom and I got to see my peers up on screen and they were acting out these different scenes and scenarios--I would pay a lot more attention," Underwood explained.

Underwood tells me he chose topics he feels students deal with everyday.

"Different issues that we often deal with in the middle school: bullying, drama between different students and then a lot of times, we have a lot of athletes at the school and they play sports so P.E. sometimes, issues can arise when kids are playing basketball or football," he explained.

Aired in a special homeroom to the entire school, each video comes with choices on how to handle each situation prompting students to talk about the issues.

"I play basketball and everything and I can relate to it," said Qwentin Buggs, an 8th grade student at Aiken Middle.

Buggs starred in one of the videos and says he feels the viewing had a positive impact.

"I think it's good because when it comes down to it, you'll know the right thing to do," Buggs said. "It'll influence them to do the same thing I did in the video, which is make the best decision."

"A lot of times students come to me and they don't know how to handle a certain situation. So, I'm hoping that the information that's presented to them in this video will give them an idea about ways that they diffuse conflict, resolve conflict," said Underwood.

The videos show students how to go to a teacher or administrator to talk privately about any issue. Another depicts one student going to another student when she heard rumors from others--showing students they can always try a non-confrontational approach to handling a situation where rumors are being spread. And, the video on conflict in sports show students how to apologize and move forward in the game, rather than letting a tense moment turn into a potential physical altercation.

Underwood tells me he plans to send the videos to all schools in Aiken County in hopes of helping spark the conversation in other schools.

To see the videos in full, click the link below.


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