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Base event gives students opportunity to ‘Give Peace a Chance’

Hannah Haley, 11, and Airman 1st Class Whitney Parker, 88th Medical Operations Squadron administrative technician, race from cone-to-cone in a game at Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, an anti-bullying event in the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Religious Education Facility Aug. 2, 2016. Haley, the daughter of Dan and Renea Haley, 88th Medical Support Squadron health systems specialist, is starting the sixth-grade at Northwestern Elementary School in Clark County, Ohio. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

Hannah Haley, 11, and Airman 1st Class Whitney Parker, 88th Medical Operations Squadron administrative technician, race from cone-to-cone in a game at Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, an anti-bullying event in the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Religious Education Facility Aug. 2, 2016. Haley, the daughter of Dan and Renea Haley, 88th Medical Support Squadron health systems specialist, is starting the sixth-grade at Northwestern Elementary School in Clark County, Ohio. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

A volunteer paints the face of six year-old Roderick Burse, at an anti-bullying event called Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, held inside the Religious Education Facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Aug. 2, 2016. Burse is the son of Ronneja and Staff Sgt. Roderick Burse Jr., 435th Supply Chain Operations Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

A volunteer paints the face of six year-old Roderick Burse, at an anti-bullying event called Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, held inside the Religious Education Facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Aug. 2, 2016. Burse is the son of Ronneja and Staff Sgt. Roderick Burse Jr., 435th Supply Chain Operations Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

Regan Abbott, 10, races over hurdles during the Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, anti-bullying event, Aug. 2, 2016, in the Religious Education Facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The event was put together by the WBAFB School Liaison Officer in response to an increase in the reports of bullying at the end of last school year. Abbott lives with her father Capt. Scott Abbott, 35th Surgical Operations Squadron, in Misawa Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

Regan Abbott, 10, races over hurdles during the Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, anti-bullying event, Aug. 2, 2016, in the Religious Education Facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The event was put together by the WBAFB School Liaison Officer in response to an increase in the reports of bullying at the end of last school year. Abbott lives with her father Capt. Scott Abbott, 35th Surgical Operations Squadron, in Misawa Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

Fatima Boumahchad, 16, talks about the importance of bystander intervention to prevent bullying at the Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, anti-bullying event in the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Religious Education Facility Aug. 2, 2016. Boumahchad, who is starting her senior year at Dayton Regional STEM School, talked to 120 younger students attending the event sponsored by the WPAFB School Liaison Officer. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

Fatima Boumahchad, 16, talks about the importance of bystander intervention to prevent bullying at the Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, anti-bullying event in the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Religious Education Facility Aug. 2, 2016. Boumahchad, who is starting her senior year at Dayton Regional STEM School, talked to 120 younger students attending the event sponsored by the WPAFB School Liaison Officer. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

Maryam Boumahchad, 13, adds her signature to those on a pledge to fight bullying in the coming school year during Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, an anti-bullying event in the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Religious Education Facility Aug. 2, 2016. Boumahchad will be going to Dayton Regional STEM School as an eighth-grader this fall. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

Maryam Boumahchad, 13, adds her signature to those on a pledge to fight bullying in the coming school year during Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, an anti-bullying event in the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Religious Education Facility Aug. 2, 2016. Boumahchad will be going to Dayton Regional STEM School as an eighth-grader this fall. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

Khaliah Gorham and Bethany Sapp, both 11, act in a skit about cyber bullying during the Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, anti-bullying event in the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Religious Education Facility Aug. 2, 2016. Gorham, daughter of Sharron Griffin-Gorham, 88th Force Support Squadron; and Sapp, daughter of Yolanda and Gary Sapp, both with the 88th FSS; were demonstrating ways of dealing with attempts to be bullied. (U.S. Air Force photo/ R.J. Oriez)

Khaliah Gorham and Bethany Sapp, both 11, act in a skit about cyber bullying during the Stop Bullying, Give Peace a Chance, anti-bullying event in the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Religious Education Facility Aug. 2, 2016. Gorham, daughter of Sharron Griffin-Gorham, 88th Force Support Squadron; and Sapp, daughter of Yolanda and Gary Sapp, both with the 88th FSS; were demonstrating ways of dealing with attempts to be bullied. (U.S. Air Force photo/ R.J. Oriez)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- An increase in reports of bullying in local schools toward the end of last school year presented a challenge to Andrea Attaway-Young, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base school liaison officer. She was not just frustrated by the uptick in the number of reports, but also concerned about the possible follow-on effects for student victims.

 

The Kid Power website, www.kidpower.org, reports students who are bullied are at risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression. Victims are twice as likely as their classmates to suffer from head and stomach aches. Many avoid the situation by skipping school.

 

“That’s why we want to try to get in front of it,” Attaway-Young said. “Students, children, are staying home from school in tremendous numbers. We want to help them understand there’s a better way.”

 

Attaway-Young’s idea was to have what she describes as an old-fashioned, 1960s-style peace day.

 

She reached out to helping agencies on base, such as Family Advocacy and Military Family Life Consultants; local school districts and community organizations like Ohio PTA and the Dayton International Peace Museum.

 

On August 2, the Stop Bullying—Give Peace a Chance event was held in the WPAFB Religious Education Facility with about 120 students participating.

 

There was a mix of games and teaching moments. The concept was to have the students play an active role in helping each other.

 

“I can stand and talk to them, I could lecture them for three hours,” Attaway-Young said, “but they are going to learn better from working with one another.”

 

Games and face painting was interspersed with students working on skits to demonstrate prevention and intervention techniques.

 

Emphasis was placed on the idea that everybody has an anti-bullying role to play.

 

“The main point of what we’re trying to do today is to tell you to help your friends,” Rebecca L. Westlake, 88th ABW vice director, told the students while leading a discussion. “Tell a teacher, tell someone to stop bullying.”

 

It is a lesson Hannah Haley, 11, daughter of Renea Haley, 88th Medical Support Squadron, took with her.

 

“If it’s happening to anyone, you have to stop it,” she said. “And, if it’s happening to you, try standing up.”