FOUNTAIN, Colo. (CBS4) – A anti-bullying campaign at a school in Fountain is causing controversy. The school is putting stickers on students’ shirt collars so that other students will shun them from all interaction.
The goal is for the students to find out what it’s like to be left out.
The hands-on, pro-active approach from the staff at James Madison Charter Academy for 4th through 6th graders was designed by staff with the intention of teaching kids a lesson about what it’s like to be bullied first-hand, CBS4 sister station KKTV reports.
“We are putting the students in a situation where they can experience what it’s like to be left out,” Principal Dr. Anne Shearer-Shineman told KKTV. “They will have more insight into things that they might be doing to others that they don’t realize that they’re doing.”
The campaign works by placing a sticker on certain children’s collars, indicating to others that they are to be shunned completely — including rules against any type of mean-spirited teasing or actions towards the students of any kind.
Although the principal said she hopes the kids will learn to be much nicer by the end of the campaign, some parents did not agree.
“He got shunned, not bullied, all day because the school refuses to say it’s bullying,” parent Johanna Myers, told KKTV about her 4th grade son Mark.
She said she is glad the school is doing something about bullying because he has been a victim of it in the past, but she disagrees with this approach.
“They’ve got a good heart behind it, it’s just being approached in a very misguided way,” said Myers.
“I wasn’t allowed to talk with anyone. I wasn’t allowed to play with anyone,” her son Mark said. “They said we had to do it because to show other kids what it’s like to be bullied.”
The campaign is set to conclude on Thursday, at which point students and staff will engage in a discussion about what they have learned from the anti-bullying exercise.