One school’s response to making schools safer has been to present a play about cyber bullying featuring kids with and without disabilities.
A few examples of what teens hear every day in social media include things like, “You’re ugly”, “You’re fat”, “You’re stupid”, or “You’re gay.” In days gone by, school bullies were bigger kids, physically intimidating other students. Now, a bully can attack anyone anywhere with a keyboard.
At Forest Grove High School, Project UNIFY Productions tackled cyber bullying by bringing together 45 student actors and technicians. Some of these student had disabilities, others did not.
The production this year is dedicated to the memory of Megan Meier, a Missouri teen who committed suicide three weeks before she turned 14. Her suicide was attributed to cyber bullying after an investigation.
This year, every student who wants to participate will have a part in the production, according to John Anderberg, educational assistant and director of Project UNIFY Productions program,
This year, Anderberg split participants into teams, and members of the advanced acting program were team captains.
“This way, with 45 students, each gets more individual one-on-one time.” Anderberg said.
After surveying English classes about student experiences with cyber bullying, Anderberg developed the script, and each team picked a topic to discuss and explore.