At Seaford Harbor Elementary School, children learn how to handle emergency situations, practicing fire, lockdown and emergency evacuation drills throughout the school year. This year, these students have to know one more drill to cover a more common emergency: bullying.
“With bullying being a thing that kids can face every day, we want to make sure kids have those strategies to deal with a bully,” said Thomas Burke, Principal of the Harbor School.
In case of a bully, Harbor children must follow their “A B C’s;” Away, Buddy and Confront or Call, that is. During a bully drill, a bystander must take the target away from the bully, bring a buddy over and confront the bully or call over an adult who can help defuse the situation.
Burke said the idea for bully drills came out of a presentation from Sweethearts and Heroes, a motivational speaker group that teaches students about the impact of bullying on schools, neighborhoods and individuals. Earlier this year, children wrote out their own bully drills based on real-life situations and practiced them in front of their peers.
“This is important, especially for the younger students, because it teaches them that bullying isn’t right and it teaches them what to do if you see bullying happening,” said Sean Rodgers, a Harbor School fifth-grader.
In between the February and April breaks, the school also tasked its students to create posters that listed what to do during a bully drill. The posters were hung up in the beginning of June, finding their place on the walls of Harbor classrooms next to other student projects, inspirational messages and educational posters.
Ultimately, Burke said, the bully drills and posters are part of what he hopes the Harbor school can do for Seaford’s children.
“At the end of their time in the elementary school,” Burke said, “you hope to send these kids into the middle school as good citizens.”