Topping the headlines last week was a young boy speaking out against the bullies he faces every day at school.

“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?” he questions as tears stream down his face. “What’s the point of it? Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them? It’s not OK. It’s not OK. People that are different don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault.”

Bullying is something Clements/Parsons Elementary School students are taking control of this year through their music program. Led by teachers Tino Sanchez and Kelly Thompson, fourth- and fifth-grade music students are focusing on anti-bullying as their theme and message for this year’s school concert.

Assistant Principal Katherine Baney said she is pleased with what the program is promoting.

“Student safety is our first priority. Bullying destroys self-confidence and a child’s sense of self-worth,” Baney said. “It inhibits our core mission — learning. Teaching students about kindness and friendship promotes a positive campus community and culture.”

The students agreed this is an important theme to focus on and are putting forth extra effort to get their message across.

“It just sort of naturally evolved into this theme,” Thompson said. “We started out just focusing on positivity, and the kids really took it to a whole new level.”

Students including Amielia Adams suggested songs they believe have a powerful, positive and encouraging vibe to promote anti-bullying.

Once the students compiled a list of songs, they then voted on which ones would make the final cut and ultimately be performed in front of family and friends.

“I like ‘No Money’ because it’s telling how kids should stand up to bullies and not let them push kids around,” Adams said.

Other students including Anthony King say they voted for songs that teach others the importance of working together to stand up to bullies.

“I voted for ‘We Are the World’ because when we work together, we can make a difference,” King said.

Clements/Parsons staff were pleased with the efforts of their students and praised them for their hard work as to stand up to bullying through their performance.

Clements/Parsons Elementary has several other anti-bullying initiatives in place with the student council and the Kids’ Care Club. The school also has a behavior rewards program where acts of kindness toward others is encouraged and recognized.

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