News / Arts & Entertainment

Children Fight Bullying with Poems, Artwork

Children Fight Bullying with Poems, Artworki
X
Faiza Elmasry
June 16, 2014 12:53 PM
Bullying has become a serious problem in many U.S. schools, and education officials in Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside the nation's capital, challenged young students to respond to it with artwork and poetry, in a contest called Diverse Expressions. All the entries were compiled in a booklet and distributed to elementary school students across the county. Faiza Elmasry visited William Paca Elementary school in Landover, Maryland, home to several of the top contest winners. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Faiza Elmasry
Bullying is a serious concern in many U.S. schools, which is why education officials just outside the nation's capital challenged young students to respond to the issue with artwork and poetry. in a contest called Diverse Expressions.  

All the entries for the Diverse Expressions contest were compiled in a booklet and distributed to elementary school students across Prince George's County, Maryland.

William Paca Elementary school in Landover, Maryland, is home to several of the top contest winners, including Marquette Dunbar, 11, who expressed how he feels about bullying by putting pen to paper.

Inspired by the U.S. civil rights movement, he imagined people marching, holding signs with messages against bullying, like 'Don't be a bully', 'We just want peace and joy' and 'Harmony could be between us.'

Marquette won first prize in the art category. He says his picture expresses a painful personal experience as a victim of bullying.

“The common bullying [form] for me is name calling," he said. "I just felt annoyed and disoriented because I'm just confused of how I get bullied and I didn't do anything.”

Cameron Ross, 8, is second grader. Her drawing took third place in the same category.

“The picture is about a girl who is being bullied by this boy," she said. "He’s calling her ‘ugly, ugly.’  This [other] girl is saying, ‘This is not cool.  I’m going to prevent her from being bullied.' She’s telling a responsible adult.’”

Cameron says the girl she drew is so sad to be called ugly that she cries.
This drawing by second grader Cameron Ross, 8, took third place in the art category of an anti-bullying contest.
This drawing by second grader Cameron Ross, 8, took third place in the art category of an anti-bullying contest.
Neresha Miller, an 11-year-old fifth grader spoke up with a poem entitled, Speak Up About Bullying:

Bullying is a bad way to express yourself.
It only makes you as short as an elf.
Making others hurt or sad
Should not make you feel glad.
Bullying can come in many different forms;
mentally emotionally, cyber all ctrate storms.
If you see someone being bullied, never leave it alone,
because you'll never know, you might save a bone.
Instead of being a bully on life's road,
use the golden rule as your code.
Treat others the way you want to be treated
Because kindness is always needed.


Miller's poem came in second place in the poetry category.

“I think we should do more to stop bullying, more like we should talk to the people who have been bullied on how they should think about the person who is bullying them,” she said.

Isis Garvin, 11, was awarded third prize for Bullying Must Be Stopped:

Bullying is bad,
It's not good.
If I could stop it,
I surely would.

No one should have
to live in fear.
No one should have
to shed not another tear.

There is too much
fighting, lying and
too many people dying.

It's time to take a stand,
gran you neighbors hand.
You see something, say something.
Bullying must be stopped!!!”


Isis hopes her words would make bullies understand how their victims feel.

“I don’t really know how a bully can do this to other people because it’s a bad thing," she said. "It’s really bad.”

Their principal, Dorothy Clowers, says there were several reasons she and her teachers encouraged their students to take part in the contest.

“Number one, we were studying poetry," she said. "Number two, bullying is so big. Number three, we had several incidents with bullying in our community that came to our school. So we just seized the opportunity to move on with this initiative."

She says it was a valuable learning experience for both students and teachers.

“To give the students an opportunity to express themselves, and [for] other students [to] hear about how hurtful bullying is, is great,” Clowers said. “My teachers also, once they heard about bullying, they got on it right away because we know that bullying can lead to death.”

Fifth grade teacher Kevin White often talks about bullying with his students, to prevent it from becoming a problem in his classroom.

“It keeps them from concentrating and it’s kind of just disturbing the flow of the classroom, if we don’t catch it in time. I think parents should talk to their children about bullying," White said. "We should let students know they can come to you anytime and talk about bullying.”

He says using art and poetry can help raise awareness about bullying since many kids are more comfortable expressing their feelings through rhymed words and colored pencils.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xycris Garcia from: Texas
June 17, 2014 8:45 PM
When i was young I am lack of self confidence because i was bullied by other students and it affects my ability to remember things that i've learned. I don't want this to happen again to my loved ones, good thing there's a mobile service that will provide an assistance the we need once you are in dangerous situation. All you need to do is press the panic button if ever you need help at anytime.Just visit safekidzone.com for more interesting features.


by: GloriaR
June 17, 2014 9:55 AM

I was a teacher for twenty nears and am now a songwriter.
Teaching children kindness and tolerance should help to combat bullying. Kids can learn from songs, like “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or7WPUtUnRo



Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Trumpeter, percussionist and bandleader Etienne Charles was born in Trinidad and blends island rhythms with modern jazz. He and his stellar band perform a rich gumbo of jazz, calypso, reggae, and rock-steady that Charles calls “Creole Soul” on "The Hamilton Live."