The bully, the target and the bystancer

Monday, October 21, 2013
Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Gazette

A play called "SCRAPS" -- identifying the bully, the target and the bystander -- is presented Tuesday to McCook, Nebraska public school fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders. SCRAPS defines exclusion and verbal, physical, social and cyber bullying as ways to use relationships to harm others. According to Dr. Patricia Newman, a child psychologist and founder/executive director of RESPECT educational theater of Omaha, SCRAPS and another program called "CHOICES," (which addresses bullying, suicide, depression and alcohol abuse among middle school students), place the emphasis on peers intervening to support those who are targets of bullying. In SCRAPS, popular girl and manipulative bully "Mikayla" describes "Austin" -- in his presence -- as "totally socially awkward" and "my project." Mikayla alternately includes and excludes "Hannah," the new girl in class, depending upon whether she does things Mikayla's way. Austin admits to Hannah that he hangs out with Mikayla "because I'm afraid of her. She made fun of ME last year." Austin and Hannah learn together -- much to Mikayla's chagrin and outrage -- "that a group of true friends helps things get better."

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Gazette
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