The Emory Center for Ethics has partnered with Cartoon Network’s “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” campaign to train and educate Emory students to become mentors in three Atlanta middle schools, where they will implement an anti-bullying curriculum.
The Center for Ethics is seeking 12 to 15 undergraduate and graduate students to spend the year studying to become familiar with common aspects of bullying in order to be effective mentors. Different social topics regarding bullying prevention and counteractive measures and the overall theme will be explored each month to more fully understand the complex nature of bullying, according to the forum application.
According to the program’s application, the Center for Ethics will organize and teach student mentors through a curriculum developed by the Center’s Ethics and Servant Leadership (EASL) program, which actively promotes leadership and ethically engaged practices in the Emory community.
The goal is to develop a “high-quality, research-based training program” using materials from the campaign in three middle schools, according to Edward Queen, director of EASL and coordinator of undergraduate studies.
He added that the schools have yet to be finalized but will most likely include those with which Emory has preexisting relationships.
The pilot year is intended to morph into an “ongoing component of the EASL forum,” with additional locations and programs involved in the future, Queen said.
The “Stop Bullying” campaign is one of Cartoon Network’s major initiatives, which has included the production of a popular documentary entitled “Speak Up,” which premiered in March. The film showcased children ages eight to 13 discussing their experiences with bullying and emphasized the importance of speaking out to prevent similar situations.
“Our ongoing research and direct conversation with kids told us plainly that bullying was a major issue most kids believed they could do something about if given the right tools for dealing with it,” Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer of Cartoon Network, said in a March 2012 Cartoon Network press release.
The campaign will include a pledge for parents and children, as well as anti-bullying kits for educators with tips and strategies to help eradicate bullying.
“The program seems like a good opportunity to learn about bullying from a variety of interesting and new perspectives,” College freshman Hallie Whitman said. She continued that she believes it will be important to “put that knowledge to good use in order to help younger students.”
College freshman Molly O’Neil said that she believes the forum demonstrates Emory’s commitment to acceptance and equality, as well as presenting the opportunity to “teach university values to younger members of the surrounding communities.”
Emory’s Center for Ethics is now accepting applications for the forum. During the fall and spring semesters, the forum will convene for two hours each week.
– By Alyssa Posklensky