It followed other events across the LEAD network in support of Anti-Bullying Month this past October. Among the guest speakers this past Thursday was Bishop Marcus Campbell, who talked with fifth-grade boys about the importance of self-worth.
“See this $20 bill?” he asked. “(It was) balled it up and thrown away but it still has what? Value and worth. All you have to do take this $20, is tape it together, dust it off, un-ball it and iron it out. It can still be used because it never lost its worth.
“In life, y’all are like this $20,” he said. “People may talk about you and tear you in half. They may drag you through the dirt. Some folks will ball you up and just throw you away. But remember: you can always be put back together. You can always be dusted off. You can always be straightened out.
“Because you never lose your what? Your value and your worth. Know your value and know your worth.”
Thursday’s assembly was the culmination of an anti-violence and anti-bullying two-week Crew lesson series, said Olivia Lahann, LEAD’s coordinator of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL).
“Our focus has been on giving students the skills to handle conflict, learn about and practice empathy, have the courage to become “up-standers” not bystanders (reporting bullying when they see it), and being able to approach a trusted adult in the building with concerns,” she said. “Bullying is a pervasive problem in schools, especially at the middle school level, and we wanted to empower students to begin talking about these issues within their Crews, and thinking about ways we can collectively address bullying as a problem.”
Among the guest speakers were Dwayne Tucker, LEAD’s Interim CEO, Mr. Marcus Moye, LEAD Neely’s Bend’s Dean of Students (and former Brick Church Dean of Culture) and Brianna Murphy ’15, a member of the recently-formed LEAD Academy High School Alumni Association.
“My goal was for them to know that someone knows how they feel,” Murphy said after meeting with fifth-grade girls. “I also wanted to bring it to the teachers’ attention not to brush it off when students cry for help. The main thing I heard from kids is they want their teachers to be an open ear.”
Mr. Tucker spoke with 7th-grade boys about the importance of holding themselves to a high standard with a focus on making the most out of their time in school.
“Your job today is to apply yourself and learn,” he said. “That is your job every day.”