The third Anti-Bullying showcase was held on Sept. 11 by Zeta Sigma Chi and Gamma Alpha Omega Sorority, Black Student Union, and Tau Kappa Epshion Fraternity. The event was attended by all ages. A major contributor to the showcase was David Byrd who shared that when he was asked to join a fraternity it was a life changing moment for him. He has gone on to lead the organizations on campus to join together and educate children and adults about the dangers of bullying. He also discusses what they can do to make a positive difference in the community. The women of Gamma Alpha Omega gave a powerful presentation on bullying and the health conditions it can lead to, and at the end of the presentation there was barely a dry eye in the house. It was amazing to see how much work and talent went into the planning and running of this event. From radio personality Reggie, “Smooth as Butta” Brown to Parkside students, each took the stage to share ways to deal with bullying in a positive way. One of the presentations focused on how people can deal with bullying in a positive way by working off stress by exercise. He also did a demonstration about how once mean words are spoken they can’t be taken back. This was a reminder to everyone to be careful when they speak. From Zion, IL came the Elite Strider Positive Youth Organization Drill Team and Drum team, which works with at risk youth in Lake Country to promote arts, education, character, commitment, morality, and values. They presented a number of beautiful dances. From skits, songs, and videos the real impact of bullying was seen.
Everyone has the abilty to do something to end bullying in our nation. From grade school throughout life people are bullied for being different and many people are not comfortable seeking help. Some of the tips from the event included letting a parent or guardian know if someone was being bullied, to not ignore the issue, and to stand up for the person being bullied. David Byrd and Trip Simpson performed a rap as the AnitBullyBoys and got the audience involved. For one song David and his eleven-year-old daughter got to perform together. Several young women in the community performed songs from the group Fire Girls and Ana Byrd.
One skit depicted a young man being teased for being small and working towards his dream of running in the Olympics. The scene ends with him having won several medals and his antagonist is now living on the street begging; the Olympian brings the bully with him to get him some dinner. A few Parkside students contributed to the showcase with a song by Tianna Fields and a by Brittany Woods, in addition to the others previously mentioned. The talent featured throughout the evening was enjoyable and thought provoking for all who attended.
If you or someone you know is dealing with bullying there is help out there for them. Safe Zones are located around campus, and these staff members are specially trained. Additional campus resources are the Student Health and Counseling Center, LGBT Center, and Police and Student Support Services.
In addition to the Anti-Bullying showcase, Zeta Sigma Chi also did a presentation in memory of the lives that were lost on Sept. 11. This tribute was touching and reminded us that while those people may be gone we will never forget all the lives that were taken that day, from firefighters to first responders and the people at work who never made it home.
Article by Kari Tower-Sevick