New inclusive approach helps Illinois schools fight bullying

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Last school year, 11-year-old Ronan Schuelke wasn't sure what to do when another boy in his class shoved him and called him names in the lunchroom.

This year, Ronan has been chosen by his peers at Stratford Middle School in Bloomingdale to star in a music video designed to teach respect through a catchy parody of a Katy Perry song.

After the school's students watch the video, Ronan and other student leaders will hand out "Stallion Medallions" to classmates who try to stop bullying or who reinforce positive behavior. Students can score a medallion for telling a classmate to stop picking on someone, by sitting with a new student at lunch or by committing other random acts of kindness. The tokens can be redeemed for school supplies, tickets to plays or other small rewards. The school's mascot is a stallion.

"I think this (concept) is something the kids will pick up ... and maybe try it," Ronan said.

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