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 VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”