Skip to main content

Clown Group Presents Anti-bullying Message with Songs, Skits

Linden Charter Academy is relishing in the ability to welcome presenters and groups back into school after the long isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their first big assembly centered on teaching their youngest students how to deal with the issue of bullying. For this, they welcomed the Mott Campus Clowns from Mott Community College in Flint, Mich.
 
The troupe consists of honors students enrolled in the college’s Social Diversity and Civic Engagement Lab, a service-learning course where they are trained to serve the community as clowns. They’re led by Alyshia Turner and Dr. Brian Ivory, who take on the personas of Tinkers and Dr. Bubby.
 
“I think it's nice to paint clowns in a different light and I think sometimes bullying assemblies can be really heavy,” Linden Principal Julie Dixon said. “And there's a place for that most certainly, especially with our older kids, bullying itself is heavy. But these assemblies were focused on our kindergarten through third grade.”
 

Dixon said the performance had an energetic feel and highlighted how to stand up to bullying and what kinds of techniques to use if students witness bullying.
 
“Oftentimes I feel like my bullying seminar takeaway has been about why bullying is wrong, not necessarily what I can do about it as a bystander,” Dixon said. “So, to give young kids something actionable that they can do is so powerful. To do that in a way that was so fun and engaging; the kids left, smiling, ear-to-ear.”
 
Linden Interventionist Libby Draeger and her mother, Seventh-grade Math Teacher Rachel Draeger, know the clown troupe well. Libby is a former honors student at Mott and of the clown class. She also joined in the fun during the performance.
 

“When the opportunity came up, they had openings in their calendar,” Libby said. “They were having a hard time getting back into schools after COVID because they haven't had this program in a couple years. So, my mom and I were like ‘why don't they come here? This would be great for our kids!’
 
“It's an easily digested format too because there's anti-bullying stuff, there were things about being a good person, all peppered in with your typical clown gags. I think the kids came away with a lot of good strategies and I know the teachers enjoyed it too.”
 
Students participated in call and response songs and cheered when the clowns chased each other with a creamy pie. Shouts of “No bullies here” echoed around the gymnasium.

About Linden Charter Academy
Linden Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Flint, Michigan, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes over over 95 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.