The speaker they brought in, Jerry Ackerman, is dealing with bullying from two different angles. Wednesday morning, he talked to students about how they can be proactive. Wednesday night, he planned to talk to parents about what they should be doing.
"Do something rather than nothing," said Ackerman.
That was the message for fifth and sixth graders from Judith Giacoma and Ridge Farm Elementary schools. Ackerman challenged them to battle bullying.
"When I was in second grade, I got beat up at the flagpole in front of the school," said Ackerman. "Somebody came up and everybody was chasing me as I ran home. I remember that."
"You should not bully and help the people that are getting picked on," said Andrea Longorin, who is a fifth grader at Judith Giacoma.
"I hear a lot of stuff that people say and I really want to try to stop it," said Shelby Siddens, who is a fifth grader at Ridge Farm Elementary.
They focused on more than just words and physical fighting. Since students today said they see bullying most in cyberspace.
"There's so many things that go on the Internet and things that people do to each other," said Taylor Stal, who is a fifth grader at Ridge Farm Elementary.
"Boys are a little more willing to confront someone, duke it out and then it's over," said Ackerman. "Girls are a little more passive-aggressive and tend to do more cyber bullying."
Students were encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and reach out to people they didn't know. Ackerman also taught them a brand new dance and showed them if they could be brave enough to do something silly, they could be strong enough to stick up for each other.
Both Westville and Georgetown-Ridge Farm districts invite parents to a special session about bullying Wednesday night. There's a free dinner at 5:30 pm. Ackerman will talk to them at 6 pm at the Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School. Anyone is welcome.