Learning the ‘Power of One’ can help stop harassment

October 28, 2008

By Chantelle Lusebrink

Marianne Mandrusiak (left) and Kate McKnight, actors with ‘Power of One,’ dress Challenger student Hanna Meyer as a superhero during the assembly to teach an end to bullying. By Chantelle Lusebrin

Marianne Mandrusiak (left) and Kate McKnight, actors with ‘Power of One,’ dress Challenger student Hanna Meyer as a superhero during the assembly to teach an end to bullying. By Chantelle Lusebrin


Bullies have no place in school, especially at Challenger Elementary School, where the entire student body signed a contract to prevent bullying Oct. 21.

But before signing the contract, the students gathered for an assembly hosted by Soren Bennick Productions, a company from Toronto, Canada, which taught them about the dangers of bullying and how they can stop it with the “Power of One.”

“Each and every one of you have the power to stop bullying with the ‘Power of One,’” said Marianne Mandrusiak, one of two speakers with the company.

The assembly was held to address one of the school’s nine life skills officials cover with students throughout the year, according to school counselor Pam Ridenour.

October was learning the skill of cooperation — learning to work and play with others. 

Two actresses from the company, Mandrusiak and Kate McKnight, performed three short acts for students about different types of bullying — physical and verbal — to help students understand what bullying looks like and how sad it makes people feel. 

“I learned that if you are bullied and you hit someone else back, you are being a bully, too,” said kindergartner Kushagra Verma. 

Students didn’t just learn about bullies and victims. They also learned about how being a witness to bullying and doing nothing about it is wrong, too.

Throughout the assembly, students were able to use their ‘Power of One’ to stop the bullies by telling them to stop, by ignoring them or by telling a teacher.

“I hope everyone understands the ‘Power of One,’” Principal Robin Earl said. “I want you to take your power and make a difference. I want you to support your friends, not only at school, but in your neighborhoods, too.”

“I learned that I am strong,” said kindergartner Hanna Meyer, who was outfitted like a superhero by Mandrusiak and McKnight to help students find the “Power of One” and help stop bullying. 

Hanna said that if she were to see bullying at school, she’d tell the bully to stop, but so far, she hasn’t seen any.

Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com.


Signs your student could be a victim:

Withdrawn behavior

Physical symptoms, such as stomachaches, headaches or anxiety

Lack of desire to attend certain activities, classes or school


What to do: 

Encourage your child to become friends with other children.

Write down and report all bullying.

Encourage your child to develop new skills and interpersonal skills through activities, like sports, clubs or music.

Help your child acquire verbal and physical skills to deal with a bully and practice them at home.

Encourage your child to tell his or her bully to stop his or her behavior in an authoritative, nonjoking manner.

If your child is a bystander, encourage him or her to help without getting hurt or report it to an adult.

Signs your child could be a bully:

Aggressive behavior 

Low self-esteem

Uses his or her physical power to obtain something from another child

Talks about eliminating certain friends from his or her group without good cause

Uses derogatory slurs in everyday language


What to do:

4Reinforce school rules about bullying at home by setting firm rules about aggressive behavior.

4Take it seriously.

4Help your child develop skills and interests that don’t promote bullying behaviors. 

4Be a role model by not gossiping or exhibiting excessively aggressive behaviors.

4Help your child understand how his or her actions hurt others.

Sources: State Attorney General’s Office, Issaquah School District

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