Ashland University Group to Demonstrate Anti-Bullying Solutions

Ashland University Group to Demonstrate Anti-Bullying Solutions

3/14/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – Sticks and Stones and Words (SSW), a student group at Ashland University, makes a lasting impression on young students. The group involves students in a dramatic scene of bullying and helps them experience finding a solution to the problem.

The SSW student group takes its anti-bullying drama scripts into classrooms and social service agencies in this area. The group is sponsored by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence at Ashland University.

The student group will perform Tuesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in Myers Convocation Center on the AU campus. This presentation is free and open to the public. Teachers, counselors, school liaisons and parents are invited to attend and see how powerful this form of education can be.

The scenario that will be performed involves high school students and cyber bullying. The group also does performances involving elementary and middle school students. One scenario depicts bullying on a school bus that continues at school. Another involves a hallway situation with a student new to the school.

The cast and director for the March 25 performance are Janice Richards, an art and psychology major from New Franklin; Holly Stevens, a nursing major from Mansfield; Rebecca Houndshell, a social work major from Swanton; Naomi Blaz, a sports communication major from the island of Guam; and Sierra Fish, an intervention specialist education major from New Philadelphia. Stevens is the director and the leader of the group, while Richards is her assistant.

Most of the students in the SSW troupe have experienced or witnessed bullying. Their goal is to help younger students practice ways to stop bullying when they see it happen or prevent it from happening at all.

"Sticks and Stones helped make me stronger and made me want to go out and make changes,” Steven said. “What used to be the worst part of my high school life is now the most inspirational part of my life.”

The format for the script performance has been developed from the Theatre of the Oppressed techniques developed by Agusto Boal, an Argentinian playwright who believed that dramatization would help participants in a problem situation find solutions to their problem.

“The Sticks and Stones activities thoroughly engage audience members. They will encourage conversations about bullying, intervention and prevention long after the actors have gone,” according to Dorothy Stratton, AU retired professor of social work, who advises the group.

The Ashland Center for Nonviolence at Ashland University is located on the AU campus. The Center seeks a world in which human conflict at all levels can be resolved without resorting to violence and in which social justice can be realized.

For more information about ACN events, or to learn more about the Ashland Center for Nonviolence, please call 419-289-5313 or visit the website at www.ashland.edu/acn. To be added to the ACN e-mail list, e-mail your request to acn@ashland.edu.

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###