Since the beginning of the school year, Duncan Middle School has taken a more active role in counteracting bullying.
On Thursday, the middle school sixth and eighth-graders gathered in the Simmons Center Theatre to hear a presentation about bullying. Those grades were chosen because of the sixth-graders being new to the middle school and the eighth-graders preparing to move to the high school level. Next year will capture this year’s seventh-graders who will be teamed with this year’s fifth-graders.
Country singer and songwriter Kylie Morgan led the program, talking to students about various types of bullying and the harm it can cause.
“If you see someone bullying and you don’t do something, you’re saying it’s OK,” Morgan said.
She opened the program by playing a video of her song “Phoebe,” which is about a girl who committed suicide because of bullying. Morgan even admitted to being bullied herself.
Morgan said the best way to do something about bullying it to tell an adult who can help. She said it’s important for youths to keep an open dialogue on bullying because it can help rectify a situation.
In addition to talking about bullying, Morgan also answered questions from the students.
Among the question was one about why bullies start bullying. Morgan said many bullies have been bullied themselves, whether by a parent, a sibling or another student. And bullying becomes a way for them to act out.
Morgan said bullying can be a simple as talking behind someone’s back or messaging them online.
“We need to boost them up,” she said. “We need to build up their confidence.”
She discussed her anti-bully project, where students can take a pledge and a stand against bullying. The program, titled “It Matters What We Do,” is named for one of Morgan’s songs.
Morgan said it takes people standing against bullying to make a difference. She said one of the perks to talking to students about bullying is having some self-proclaimed bullies telling her they’re done with bullying.
Toward the end of the program, Morgan and her band performed a short set for the students. Some of the songs included anti-bullying themes.
“Think about the impact you can make,” Morgan said.