Standing Up to Bullies, There's an App for That
One-point-six million children are bullied at least once a week. And a daily fear is keeping over a hundred thousand kids out of their classrooms.
Tuesday teachers and physicians are coming together to launch a new way to prevent bullying, using a high-tech game.
The new app called "Awesome Upstander" was launched inside a Jefferson Elementary classroom.
One teacher described it as a modern day Donkey Kong; it's all about speed and gathering points.
As kids work to get to higher levels, they're learning lessons in standing up for others.
"You've got to use those fingers fast, and you gain points some little information pieces come up, on how to identify the bully, how to get between the victim and the bully. And how to put an end to it," said Jeannine McDonald, Physical Education Teacher at Jefferson Elementary School.
The super hero in this game is called an "Upstander," it's the opposite of a "bystander."
The goal is to get kids to work together and stick up for others who are the victims of bullying.
It's all about forming coalitions, much like in life, the more friends you have in the game the less likely you are to be bullied.
"Have other peers, make sure they're with other kids, kids who are together are more likely to be buffered from the affects of bullying, than kids who are by themselves or believe they have to take this up on their own," said Dr. Mark Lynn PhD, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
Bullying can start as early as kindergarten, and as kids get older it can get nastier.
The game is being introduced in an elementary classroom hoping to get rid of bullying at a young age.
"We have tons of kids who are afraid to stand up and actually be that one person whose going to make a difference, instead you have 20 bystanders who are not willing to intervene, to help a child," said Dr. Mark Lynn.
Click here to learn more about the app.