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Vermillion Middle School project finalist in Samsung competition
Students are studying how Asian carp threaten native fish species in the Missouri River and raising community awareness.

Yankton students take stand against bullying
Webster Elementary students created a music video to spread their anti-bullying message.

Dan Guericke and James Cutshaw discuss SD Innovation Lab schools, where projects guide learning. SDIL is a partnership of the Mid Central Educational Cooperative, Sanford Research and the PAST Foundation.

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Yankton students take stand against bullying

Webster Elementary students are spreading their anti-bullying message with a music video they created.

Webster started using the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in the fall of 2012. The program seeks to create allies who will stand up for those being bullied.

Webster Elementary Principal Melanie Ryken says since the school has implemented Olweus, there has been a significant decline in behavior problems. Students have also reported that adults in the building have intervened more often and with success.

She has heard from parents and other community members, including one parent who has seen girls on his soccer team standing up for others.

As she was supervising at a football game one night, Ryken saw firsthand the program in action. Kids from another school were commenting on a student’s skin color. Without yelling or using strong language, several Webster students simply said to the kids who were bullying, “We noticed what you said. We didn’t like that.” She says the kids who were doing the bullying were shocked.

“Kids can stop bullying,” Ryken says. “We must empower them and give them the right tools.”

Congratulations, Webster Elementary!