RadioShack, SDSU team up to stop bullies

Jesse Batson

Jesse Batson

SDSU professors Deb DeBates and Julie Bell have partnered with RadioShack to prevent bullying of all kinds.

“Dr. DeBates and I wrote a grant to RadioShack and they have a project called Street Cents Community Grants and they offer it through the year for non-profit organizations,” Bell said.

RadioShack donated $500 to DeBates and Bell’s “.

“We’re one of 189 agencies, nationwide, to receive it this quarter,” Bell said.

In conjuncton with the South Dakota Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Bell and DeBates are promoting their program preventing family violence and abuse.

Bell and DeBates invited various chapters of the FCCLA to participate in an all-day event later this March.

“We have invited 10 chapters, which are secondary schools, to come and train…each one is to bring two students,” Bell said.

Students from the eastern part of the state were invited to participate. Mitchell and Brookings are the two largest participants. Two students from each school will attend.

“We will do some training for them as far as communication techniques,” Bell said.

Each student will receive an activity box filled with packets of information on bullying, role-playing options and surveys conducted on bullying.

“We’ve been getting lots of information talking about what bullying is,” Bell said. “Bullying has been starting very early in schools. Bullying may start innocently, but it can escalate into something stronger.”

SDSU students in the FCCLA program will also participate in the event, helping teach the freshman and sophomores from secondary schools how to start their own programs in their schools.

Part of duo’s goal is to educate the students enough to the point that they will take what they have learned back to their own communities and teach it there, whether it be to the PTA, to fellow FCCLA members or at other schools Bell said.

“We’re really looking at decision-making and problem-solving at the same time,” Bell said.

Bell and DeBates are also hoping to get a local RadioShack representative to participate in the seminar.

Bell and DeBates have been working together on projects like this for nearly 20 years. They actually started their own program called: “Talk It Out.”

“That is a national project that has been funded through the U.S. Department of Justice,” Bell said.

They are in their fifth year.

The “Stop The Violence” program allows Bell and DeBates to specify their goal, focusing just on bullying, from emotional to physical.