Take Action Against Bullying with the Arts

Once upon a time, bullies at school may have been thought of as “just a part of growing up.” Young Audiences believes that nothing should be further from the truth.

We’re not alone. Schools and state legislators have enacted zero tolerance policies and laws and school counselors have risen to the challenge. Why?

It could be because, as the National Crime Prevention Council states, “Parents, educators, and community leaders now see bullying as a devastating form of abuse that can have long-term effects on youthful victims, robbing them of self-esteem, isolating them from their peers, causing them to drop out of school and even promoting health problems and suicide.”

The National Institute of Health provides the following statistics:

  • Every 30 minutes a teenager attempts suicide due to bullying.
  • About 47 teens are bullied every 5 minutes.
  • 71% of students report bullying as an ongoing problem.

Schools and community agencies are seeking ways to deal with bullying as a community by adopting policies and practices that become part of school culture, because bullying not only negatively impacts the bullied, it also has ramifications for the bystander and, perhaps, surprisingly for some, for the bully himself.

Many educators have been successful using methods that help students resolve issues collaboratively. These methods often use strategies that draw upon drama, visual art, and storytelling. In arts education programs, students work with their peers through the creative process and in performance. This group effort calls for students to share their ideas, take responsibility, create solid relationships, hold leadership roles, and be open, tolerant, and respectful toward others.

Young Audiences offers programs that help students and teachers learn strategies to recognize and deal with bullying, helping to create positive school environments. Our programs can provide a voice to the bullied, the bystander, and the bully to help create supportive learning environments.

We don’t claim to be able to stop bullying in your school, but we do promise to be a partner to help create a supportive learning environment. We encourage you to learn about our bullying programs and contact us [P:216-561-5005 // E: info@yaneo.org] so that we can help customize a program to best suit your needs.

Two of our teaching artists, Jimmie Woody and Mike Fields, created this moving anti-bullying message with students from Warrensville Heights High. Our goal is to work together so that bullying never gets this far; we’d be honored to partner with you and your students to create a supportive learning environment. Take action with the arts against bullying. Let’s do this together.


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