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Ogden, Utah- (ABC 4 Utah) – A new tool in the battle against bullying is sweeping schools across the state.
Students at Bonneville High School took a break from the class room for a different kind of lesson.
“To encourage students to be a little more kind, a little more welcoming, a little more understanding,” said Executive Director of The Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition, Don Olsen.
The coalition is sponsoring an assembly, hoping to connect with students about a serious problem.
According to the State Office of Education more than 20% of Utah students are severely impacted by bullying in a negative way and 80% witness bullying and do nothing about it.
“If students take ownership, if they are the ones who say to one another not in our house, that kind of behavior is not acceptable there is a much greater chance of success,” said Olsen.
That’s the message shared through music, someone who didn’t let bullying hold him down and the Jazz Bear and Dunk Team.
“When you get to our age it’s going to mean a lot more with how you treat people over all those years and how you’ve been treated,” said Matt Griff, with the Utah Jazz Dunk Team.
Students say they are walking away with a new perspective and the courage to speak up.
“I thought it was really cool. I feel like schools need to put that out there more and make sure people don’t bully, because bullying is a big problem,” said Senior, Erin Laird.
“You never know what people are going through. You just got to be nice to them and got to treatment them like you would want to be treated, because you never know what is happening in their life,” said Senior, Mykel Davis.
The Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition has hosted assemblies in about a dozen schools, they are off to Wayne County next.
They are also lining up schools for next year.