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Stephens College works to bring humor in stop bullying message

The theater department at Stephens College brought its production of The Bully Show to Columbia schools in order to promote its stop bullying message. (Caileigh Peterson/KRCG 13)

The theatre department at Stephens College brought its production of The Bully Show to Columbia schools in order to promote its stop bullying message.

"It's important to take this play to the schools so the audience and the middle school students can see that bullying should be prevented. Bullying is not a good thing. It's not needed," Stephens College theatre student and play director Sidny Groves said.

The show portrays a game show in which the host wants contestants to become bullies in order to protect themselves. The host's assistants then explain to her the harmful effects of bullying. The actors called students from the audience to take part in a game to identify bullying behavior. The actor who plays the bully said schools need to be a safe place.

"I love being able to come to this place, I mean children are required to be at school. The fact that it's sometimes a really uncomfortable situation, it's like a battle ground for some place they're supposed to be educated and better themselves is not good," Stephens College student Hannah Sutton. "They should feel safe, comfortable, liked, loved, and accepted."

KRCG 13's Stop Bullying Mid-MO team joined forces with the cast to speak to students about its initiative, how to help victims, bullying laws, bullying prevention and more.

The play's faculty representative said promoting the message through comedy will help get kids involved in the discussion.

"It's a different voice in a very safe environment where they can actually sit back and look at it objectively and creatively and it creates these in roads for compassion, empathy, and understanding. It's a really effective way through the use of comedy," Jill Womack, a Stephens College theatre professor.

Students were given pamphlets with bullying information and resources after the play performance.

The show and KRCG 13 traveled to Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School, Stephens College campus and Columbia Independent School.


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