Some of the children listening to the officers talk about bullying were so small, it’s hard to imagine them actually doing it. But history has shown no matter what grade they’re in, there are always kids who pick on other kids. Memorial Elementary Principal Arturo Castillo says he decided to have a school assembly about bullying. Not because it’s a problem at his school, but to prevent future problems.
"We have a safe school environment and we want to continue maintaining that. I feel that by giving students, or the community, reminders about what steps we can take to minimize that, everyone will be better off for it, especially our young people."
One of the officers spoke directly to the oldest students at the school, the fifth graders. He told them the younger students look up to them and that they needed protecting.
"When there’s bullying with one of them, you guys have to stand up for them."
HPD Captain Bruce Williams told the students a story about when he was a freshman in high school and got picked on by another student. He told the students he stood up to the bully and that they should do the same or tell an adult.
"It happens. It’s unfortunately something that we’ve kind of accepted in terms of our culture that there will be some of it, but what level of it do we accept? And we want them to talk to adults, let somebody know when something is happening.
In his own case officer Williams says after being bullied so much one day he finally said enough was enough and ended up making a scene in the classroom. I asked him how the situation turned out.
"He and I became really pretty good friends. Probably because I said some ugly things that I shouldn’t have said in class. I said something I shouldn't have in front of the teacher."
The students listened to the officers and promised to make Memorial Elementary a NO bullying zone.