Chatfield Elementary School students rock and roll with anti-bullying speaker Jim Jordan on Tuesday morning, Oct. 15.  GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
Chatfield Elementary School students rock and roll with anti-bullying speaker Jim Jordan on Tuesday morning, Oct. 15. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
Great! Incredible! Fantastic! Hoo!

That's how they feel!

"How do we feel? Great! Incredible! Fantastic! HOO!" shouted motivational speaker and magician Jim Jordan, rousing a very enthusiastic gathering of kindergarten through second grade students on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Chatfield Elementary School. Jordan's presentation was part of the district's month-long anti-bullying campaign.

His next question was, "Do you want to have the best school in the whole area? I'll show you how to make your school the best school in the whole area. What do you do to be the best school? Work to-...."

The students finished the word for him, shouting "Gether!"

Jordan shared his wisdom. "You do that by caring for your teachers, each other and your school. The secret is that you have to do it equally every day - you care for your teachers, each other and your school. And how do we care every day? We keep on keeping on."

He told the students that the best way to care for teachers is to understand how to ask questions properly.

"The first thing you do is have eye contact with your teacher, then you raise your hand, so before you raise your hand, you want to be sure to have eye contact," he said.

Then came the disappearing flowers that he picked for his favorite teacher, Mrs. Cunningham.

"I had a favorite teacher, and I got flowers for her, but when we were in the car, my dog ate them...whoops. Hey, what? They're where? Oh, those flowers?" Upon magically finding them "hidden" behind his back, he encouraged students to "go home, fold a paper in half and make a card for your teacher, come to class with a smile, and when your teacher is talking, listen."

Jordan then asked the students to care for their school by putting garbage in the garbage can and recycle anything they possibly can, return their school library books on time and to be quiet whenever they should.

"But how do we care for other people?"

Volunteers from the audience - particularly short ones, with pigtails and Transformers t-shirts - assisted him in making his points about how to care for others, beginning with seeing someone alone on the playground and asking them to play.

"You give a smile and a wave, and you say, 'Hi, do you want to play with me?'," Jordan suggested.

To have a safe school, he instructed them to look around and consider, "Has anyone ever seen another student being punched or kicked, someone take something from another student that isn't theirs? Tell them that they can't play with them? Say something mean to them? I'm not talking a one-shot student...I'm talking about things you see a student doing over and over and over and over again," he said. "That's a bully and they make kids scared to come to school."

Jordan also inquired, "Should you be scared to come to school? Some kids are so scared of coming to school because there's a bully there who might hurt them, take their lunch money or tell people bad things about them. There's a difference between a mean kid and a bully. A mean kid does something only once and a bully repeatedly does something mean to the same kids, over and over."

His message empowered the students in that he told them that "friends help friends" so that when they see someone being bullied, they should help that friend by speaking up. He suggested that the students tell that person, "Excuse me, you don't treat people that way," then to try and remove the student being bullied from the situation.

He also educated the students on what to do if they're alone and a bully approaches them - that it's best to tell an adult, be it a teacher, a friend, a parent or anyone they trust. He stressed that it's OK to tell because "there's a difference between telling on someone and tattling on someone...when you're telling on someone, it's because you need to get yourself out of trouble, and when you're tattling, you're trying to get someone into trouble."

A video featuring children singing "We're Not Going to Take It" and various staged bullying situations reiterated what Jordan had to say as it also shared statistics, such as that 160,000 students stay home each day due to bullying, that one in four is bullied, and that one in five has admitted to bullying another child.

In spite of the statistics, he rallied the students to "speak up!" and feel "Great! Incredible! Fantastic! HOO!" because, he said, "It takes courage to stand up to bullies...find your special gift of caring for others and speak up if you see someone being bullied. Care for your teachers, other students and your school every day, and this will be the best school in the whole area."