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Home > Clerc Center > Expressing Olweus anti-bullying message through words and images

Expressing Olweus anti-bullying message through words and images

Image: Artwork: Zachary Bridgett and Mariola Kimmel

Artwork: Zachary Bridgett and Mariola Kimmel

Image: Artwork: Lori Eldred and Justin Ward

Artwork: Lori Eldred and Justin Ward

Image: Artwork: Juan Sosa

Artwork: Juan Sosa

Image: Artwork: Amanda Sauerland

Artwork: Amanda Sauerland

Image: Artwork: Kyle Lauderbaugh

Artwork: Kyle Lauderbaugh

Image: Artwork: Manny Cortez

Artwork: Manny Cortez

Image: Artwork: Daimere Phillips

Artwork: Daimere Phillips

The Clerc Center officially kicked off its Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in January at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) with activities designed to increase awareness of the harmful effects of bullying.

One of the ways in which MSSD students are helping each other to internalize the anti-bullying messages is through the creation of powerful artwork that will be on display around the school. The MSSD students incorporated the themes of the four Olweus anti-bullying rules into their artwork:

  • We will not bully others.
  • We will try to help students who are bullied.
  • We will try to include students who are left out.
  • If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school or an adult at home.

"The students in my visual literacy and visual arts classes transformed the Olweus anti-bullying philosophy into powerful words and images. They utilized a combination of media-photography, digital painting, Photoshop, green screen, and painting," said Philip Bogdan, MSSD art instructor.

In their statements of purpose, the students described how they developed their concepts, created the images, and highlighted the messages they wanted to share. Zachary Bridgett and Mariola Kimmel depicted flashbacks in their artwork to show that bullying leaves emotional scars: "Our picture expresses the pain and suffering of the victim and the serious impact bullying has on the individual."

Lori Eldred and Justin Ward focused their work on dispelling a myth that all bullies are large in size: "Bullies tend to be bigger than victims, but sometimes little students can be bullies as well. Our picture shows that bullies come in different sizes and genders."

Juan Sosa explored through his artwork why people bully: "A person becomes a bully because he or she thinks it will give him or her popularity. It's simply 'not thinking' that brings serious consequences to the bully."

Amanda Sauerland expressed through her artwork how bullying takes on many forms: "I made my picture to show that bullying is not only physical but also verbal. Words can hurt people's feelings and impact their lives. I made my picture with a blue background because it is symbolic of depression and similar to Picasso in his Blue Period."

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program focuses on reducing bullying through improved social relations among students of all ages. The program reaches out to those who are bullied-and to those who bully. It takes the power out of bullying and creates a safe school where all students can learn. The artwork the MSSD students created will serve as a powerful reminder of those messages.