Photo Essay, David Meza
Verde Elementary School in North Richmond hosted an anti-bullying rally on April 16th. The “Anti Bully Machine” event was organized by second grade teacher Lola Sims, with the goal of encouraging and teaching children how to treat each other with decency and respect at all times, and increase safety on campus and in the community.
According to Sims, bullying is an issue that needs to be addressed, even in elementary school. “I [see] my students being afraid, upset, losing their appetites and not participating in class because of bullying,” said Sims. “The idea was to get students to do activities that would [teach] how not to be a bully.”
All of Verde’s 334 students plus scores of residents and parents attended the event. Students wore anti bullying t-shirts, made friendship bracelets and painted peace signs and messages on clothing. Master Jones of the Soaring Eagles martial arts group in Pinole led students in a martial arts demonstration and in role-play activities. Richmond Police also led students through activities, and the students themselves performed a play incorporating Brazilian capoeira, that demonstrated how to avoid bullying and how to help others not be a bully. The day ended with students posing for portrait photos courtesy of Zap, Inc.