Speaker shares personal bullying experiences to middle school students


    One local school is working to take down bullies by bringing in a speaker to share his own stories.

    Chris Scheufele was bullied himself as a student. Now, he is traveling around the country bringing his own personal experiences to students about how they can handle it.

    "This has really connected to me because I've been bullied since Kindergarten," said Jama Morrison, an eighth grade student at Westridge Middle School.

    Laughs may have filled the auditorium of Westridge Middle but some students like Morrison sat back relating to the message bullying expert Chris Scheufele shared.

    "It kind of helped me get through it because I always react and instead of saying nice things, I'll just start crying," said Morrison.

    Scheufele, a former teacher says he saw the traditional methods about bullying being taught in schools and saw that wasn't working.

    He turned to what was leading him out on the road to travel and tell his story.

    "We've been teaching don't bully, be nice. We've been teaching that for years. It's falling on deaf ears. For the longest times, victims of bullying are over there in the darkness saying over there "Help me, help me. Stop telling kids to be nice when I need help to." So that's my focus is helping victims not be victims anymore. It's finding that inner strength that inner resilience," said Scheufele.

    A strategy he found on his own using the golden rule and treating the bullies how he wanted to be treated.

    "I really hope that they learned a new technique of dealing with this. For a long time we have been saying ignore it, walk away and well sometimes that doesn't work. We need more things in our toolbox and so this is just another way for kids to deal with this type of situation," said Rachel Catlett, the school counselor.

    And in talking to students, it sounds like they did learn a thing or two.

    "Things you say could hurt someone even if they don't show it. I also learned to treat the bully as a friend and not fight back with them," said Avyn Urbanski, an eighth grade student.

    "I'll talk to them more as a friend instead of reacting," said Morrison.

    Scheufele will be speaking at Walnut Middle School on September 26th and at Barr Middle School in Spring 2019.

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