Katherine Prudente is doing a guest-blog series, "Beating the Bully: Cope with Bullying At Any Age" at PscyhCentral.com. We will be re-publishing her blogs here.
A Bully for Bullies!
If you are an administrator and have thought of everything to do to stop kids from bullying each other – mediation, lectures, school assemblies with speakers like myself, bringing in parents, punishing the bullies – what is left?
Meet the Scary Guy!
I receive a google news feed in my email daily and saw this article. I was immediately intrigued! I’ve learned that the Scary Guy is covered in tattoos from head to toe with studs in his eye sockets (yup he’s a scary guy!). He conducts large scale assemblies at schools. For a short interview and clip of his presentation see this article on CNN.
As a drama therapist, I enjoy seeing him use projection (looking scary and acting like a bully, thus allowing students to connect and understand the topic) and performance. Theater has always been a means for us to examine our world. Still, I wonder…does it work?
Without seeing a full performance, my best educated guess is that he creates a buzz around a school and some short term changes are observed. What happens a week afterward? A month? Do students remember the Scary Guy moments before they taunt someone in the bathroom? Perhaps…or not.
My belief is without processing his performance afterward and having continue attention on the topic any changes will be lost. These types of assemblies that shock and engage viewers are great catalysts for change but cannot be the remedy for the problem alone.
I haven’t observed his work personally (although am curious…). If you have seen his work at a school I’d love to hear your opinion.
Comments to the original post are here.