9OYS Education Watch
Marana High School stomps out bullying
Reporter: Valerie Cavazos
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Bullying is a tough topic to tackle, but Marana High School did its part today to stomp it out. Students planned a lunchtime event designed to bring students together to battle bullying.
It started with all the students showing up in blue shirts -- the color was chosen to match a worldwide effort to prevent bullying. And when the lunch bell rang, students flooded to the center of the school
"Stomp out bullying. Stop out bullying!" First, it was the Marana High School football players, who led the charge to encourage classmattes to battle bullying -- anywhere they see it.
"We encourage people to speak out," said Eric Huerta. "Don't be afraid to tell if you see someone getting bullied."
And then it was the cheerleaders' turn to help raise the excitement.
Reporter Valerie Cavazos asked the group of cheerleaders, "It's easy when you have these activities going on. But what about the next day, the next week, the next month? How do you keep this going?"
One cheerleader replied, "We're just a team. We have each other's backs. It's what we do."
But at the center of today's lunchtime activites were blue baloons -- 750 of them. Students handed them to classmates. Inside, each contained an anti-bullying message. In a symbolic gesture, students stomped on them and pieces of paper popped out for students to read and hopefully take to heart. Alyssa Esparza's reads: "Put a freeze on bullying."
It's a message Esparza feels prevades the classrooms.
"That's what I like about Marana," she said. "Everybody just gets along with each other. Nobody really bullies anybody here."
The Marana Fashion Club took a different visual approach in addressing this issue.
"We wrote on ourselves to show what we've been called," said a student. Not necessarily at Marana High School, they said.
"I did my tears and words like this because a lot of people don't see what words do to you. People go home and they cry and this is what they look like at home," said one student.
Students were also encouraged to sign petitions to commit to anti-bullying behavior. The principal told 9 On Your Side that many bullying prevention programs are already in place in the Marana district and consequences can be severe when students go too far.
This is the first ''Stomp Out Bullying" event at the high school and the students plan to make it an annual event.