Anti-bullying: just one part of International Peace Day

By Zarrin Tasnim Ahmed | Sep 21, 2016
Photo by: Zarrin Tasnim Ahmed Students dance during the opening of Jerry Ackerman's anti-bullying presentation.

As part of a larger celebration of International Peace Day, and as a program sponsored by the Scotty Monteiro Jr. Foundation, the students of Wareham Middle School now know more about standing up to bullying and the effects bullying can have after a presentation on Sept. 21.

The presentation honored International Peace Day and was an initiative of the Scotty Monteiro Jr. Foundation.

The foundation was created in memory of Scotty Monteiro Jr., a Wareham native who was shot and killed in 2009 at a house a party. His family and friends created the "Scotty Monteiro Jr. Foundation, Stop the Violence," a nonprofit organization that supports anti-violence educational programs in schools and the community at large.

Monteiro's aunt, Wendy Monteiro, was at the event and she spoke about her nephew before it began.

"He was kind and compassionate," she said, describing his selfless character.

Jerry Ackerman, a student speaker, shared stories and provided examples of bullying while playing games and entertaining middle school students.

He began his presentation with a group dance including moves like "The Lawn-Mower," and "Cleaning Your Face" and "Brushing Your Teeth" while getting ready for a date.

Little did the kids know, the dance was kind of a test. He noticed that most of the kids joined the dance, but some didn't.

"It's often in spontaneous moments like we just had that you really find out who you are," he said. "If you were not willing to participate in the dance that we just did, what about when you're called upon to be a leader when it really matters... Would you have the courage, would you have the willingness, to lead?"

It was from here that Ackerman taught students about Internet safety and the importance one small act could have on one or more lives.

He even played "True or False" with the students and one girl walked away with a stash of candy as a prize.

Ackerman also taught parents about Internet safety during a Special Parent seminar at the Wareham High School that was held later that day.

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