Be A Buddy Not A Bully empowers kids to Stand Up and Step In
1st grader Natalie Zepeda is an “Upstander”
1st grader Natalie Zepeda is an “Upstander”

The staff and students of San Cayetano celebrated Be a Buddy Not a Bully week September 23-27 with various activities each day such a writing contest, door decorating and culminating the week with a Be a Buddy not a Bully rally. The Fillmore High School Cheerleaders led the students in cheers and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place essay contest winners at each grade level were announced. The goal concept works well with PBIS (Positive, Behavior, and Intervention Support) a district initiative in year two of implementation at FUSD. Be a Buddy motivates kids of all ages to find within themselves, Confidence, Compassion and 20 seconds of Courage. Children are taught to use the three C’s and believe anyone can Stand Up! and Step In! when they are witness to, or are the victim of bullying. With the majority of bullying still taking place at school, children should feel safe, knowing they are surrounded by a "no-tolerance" environment and that an adult will support them when needed. Be A Buddy Not A Bully initiates peers to come together and pledge to themselves and each other, that bullying will no longer be tolerated and that they will Stand Up! and Step In! for each other.

The San Cayetano students in Mrs. Bennett’s class room 18 found out exactly how mean words can hurt you. Mrs. Bennett explained, “First, the my students brainstormed things a bully might say and wrote them on a blank paper doll body. Then, we drew the face that we would make if someone called us those mean things. We were very sad! Next, we tore the bodies in places where the words were. When someone says mean things it hurts us. We tried to fix our bodies by using band aids to repair the broken pieces. We said things like, “I’m sorry I said that," and "Please forgive me." Sadly, even with apologies, we never were the same. Our bodies were whole again but the mean words left long lasting effects or “wounds”.

The next step was to brainstorm nice things we can say to our friends. We wrote them on new bodies and drew the face we make when someone is nice to us. We were so much happier!”

This is just one example of how the students of San Cayetano understand that the “Be A Buddy Not A Bully” Message is not just a week long focus, but rather a message that must be the focus each and every day.