VIDEOS: Frenship students, teachers present bullying skits

On Wednesday morning, I got a call from Frenship ISD Police Officer Scott Prothro. He was calling to remind me about some bullying skits put on by the Frenship High School theater department.

The skits were performed in the Frenship HS Little Theater for a group of Lubbock-area teens selected to be in a leadership program sponsored by the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.  “A New Century Leadership” is the name of the program. Approximately 40 area students were chosen from 200 applicants to take part.

Prothro was asked two years ago to start talking to kids about bullying. He said he decided to ask theater teachers for help because the best way to reach kids is through other kids.  He told me that all of the skits were based on real events in Frenship from the viewpoint of the victim.

The drama students at FHS put on four short skits. The first two were followed by the victim telling how the bullying made them feel and how they tried to resolve the situation.

The second two were different. The students put on the skit about the bullying, but teachers rose to talk about how the situations were resolved. It turns out that the stories in these instances were those of the teachers themselves.

Drew Weesner, a drama teacher at FHS, said when he was in high school, his love of drama and choir and his different fashion choices made him a target of gossip that he was gay.

He ignored this for some time, until finally, a male student came up and punched him, then verbally assaulted him. It was at that point that he realized that things were not going to get better by ignoring the situation.

“That was the moment that I was forced to say, “This is a problem,” Weesner told the leadership students.

With the help of his parents and teachers, the situation was defused.

But Weesner said he worries about how his style might be misread even today.

“The effects of what happened to me bother me,” he said. “I have incredible friends and I have a beautiful, incredible wife.”

Still, he worries about what was said to and about him.

In the end, he said students need to get help and not ignore what is going on around them.

I have video of the bullying skit that portrays what Weesner went through, but I cut it right before he started speaking, thinking that because a teacher was getting up, the skit was over. Here it is:

Another teacher, Kayci Smith, also shared her experiences of being bullied as a middle school student. Thankfully, I got the entirety of this skit and Smith’s words here:

 

I’ll have a more formal news story about this up by Monday afternoon, but I really wanted to put the video up now. The messages of Weesner and Smith are really important. There were other messages, just as important, that afternoon, and those will also be in the news story.

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