Hilltop Elementary Students Learn to ‘Be a Buddy, Not a Bully’


A lesson in kindness in Marshall County Schools is reaching the youngest members of our community.

When 7News reporter Tessa DiTirro asked students if they’ve ever felt like they’ve been bullied hands shot up across the room.

So a group of them decided to do something.

“We created the buddy bench because, some people at our school was being lonely and not having any friends so we decided to make it,” said Acey Gast.

The benches were created by Acey’s girl scout troop filled with students at Hilltop.

She says the troop spent 25 hours building, painting and placing the three buddy benches on each playground, and now they’re a hit

“If anyone has a person, has no one to play with they can sit on the buddy bench and someone will come over and ask them to play something with them,” said Emma Coffield.

“They help people when they need a buddy or when they’re sad, they go sit on the buddy bench and people ask them to play,” said Ava Emery.

Second grader Jackson Gerardi says the bench is much more than a place to rest. He says the bench made one day a little better.

“They said do you want to play a game with me,” said Gerardi. “How’d that make you feel,” asked DiTirro. “Happy,” Gerardi exclaimed.

When students were asked what kind of person they wanted to be, the answer was clear!

“Because bullies pick on people and be mean to them and buddies be nice to each other and they don’t pick on people,” said Coffield.

“Because if you’re a buddy then you have friends, if you’re a bully then you have no friends at all,” said Gerardi.

At the end of the day, the bench is a simple way the whole school remembers to be just a little kinder.

“Feels proud, I’m proud that we got it accomplished. My favorite part is that everybody’s getting along,” said Gast.

The “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” program is sponsored by Bordas and Bordas and continues next week as we head to McNinch Elementary!

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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