On Sept. 11, Watson Elementary School held an interactive assembly to kick off a year full of character education activities. School social worker Susan Buckheit introduced the program to the entire Watson student population, explaining that bullying has become a huge issue in today’s society and informing the children that it will not be tolerated at their school.
The Power of One presented actors who used boxes, colors and masks to portray what bullying is and what can be done about it. Through the experience students learned that each of them possesses the “power of one” — the power to report and deal with bullying when they encounter it.
Watson children learned that there are three roles in bullying: the bully, the target and the bystander. The students learned that bullying behavior is illegal under DASA, the Dignity for All Students Act, and that there are serious consequences for bullies. The children were informed that targets may need help and they were also encouraged not to be bystanders. Students learned that they must report all types of bullying, including physical, verbal, exclusion and cyber bullying.
At the conclusion of the assembly, every Watson l student took the Power of One anti-bullying oath, which says: “I will not bully others. I will not stand by while others are bullied. I will report and deal with bullying whenever I see it because I have the Power of One.”
This assembly was the first of several character education assemblies scheduled throughout the school year. Watson Principal Joan Waldman said she plans to use her Book of the Month initiative to highlight character education messages via skits performed by Watson students and staff to help ensure that Watson remains a bully-free zone.