Published Date Written by Daniel Walmer
That is the question; Middletown kids answer, “No.’’
A school bully in Middletown once used a fake Facebook page to tell girls in school that they were going to die. In other instances of bullying in the world, one teenage girl was pushed out in front of a car. Another thought about committing suicide.
The seven Middletown Area Middle School students who participate in the anti-bullying Club Ophelia’s Performing Arts Troupe have heard these stories, and they spoke out against bullying through theater and discussion at Fink Elementary School on Wednesday, May 15.
About 30 people attended the “Girls Speak Out” evening by the Middletown chapter of Club Ophelia, which is designed specifically to combat bullying among girls.
“Girls bully in a very different way than boys,” said co-director Anne Einhorn.
For instance, girls frequently use “relational aggression,” in which they use their friendships to create social isolation or otherwise emotionally hurt the target of the bullying, participants said.
While the Shakespeare-inspired play they performed – “Danish Dreams” – tells the story of medieval royalty, the reality of bullying strikes much closer to home for these students.
“I think you’ll be amazed at how often this happens and how common it is,” especially given the emergency of cyber bullying, Einhorn said.
“Cyber bullying is huge, and it’s getting worse. It’s out there, everybody can see it, and there’s nowhere to go [to avoid it]. You can say things and not have to look people in the eye.”
In one Middletown instance, a student created an anonymous Facebook account and began telling girls they were going to die, a Club Ophelia performer said.