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RaShad Bristo, who was born without an arm, talked to students at Oak Park Elementary about how bullying affected his childhood and about the power of choice. The Beauregard Parish School Board is now considering changes to its district wide policy on bullying. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)<br>

RaShad Bristo, who was born without an arm, talked to students at Oak Park Elementary about how bullying affected his childhood and about the power of choice. The Beauregard Parish School Board is now considering changes to its district wide policy on bullying. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)

RaShad Bristo, who was born without an arm, talked to students at Oak Park Elementary about how bullying affected his childhood and about the power of choice. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)<br>

RaShad Bristo, who was born without an arm, talked to students at Oak Park Elementary about how bullying affected his childhood and about the power of choice. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)

Oak Park students take part in national campaign against bullying

Last Modified: Monday, November 04, 2013 11:12 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

RaShad Bristo, who was born without an arm, talked to students at Oak Park Elementary about how bullying affected his childhood and about the power of choice.

“I can’t change the fact that I was born with one arm,” Bristo told students during an assembly on Thursday. “But the way I focus on it will be the important thing.”

The students took part in a national campaign against bullying.

Bristo said he started being bullied as early as kindergarten, but he said his grandfather told him one day that his disability doesn’t define him but his determination does. He said all bullies will try to tap into a students’ insecurities.

“You can focus on your future or your feelings,” he told the students. “People will label you just to limit you.”

At the program, Michelle Bain, a children’s book author, read her book “Splotch the Madpole,” which delved into the topic of bullying through a bullying tadpole.

“Bullying isn’t funny. Bullying isn’t cool. Bullying doesn’t work at home or Oak Park School,” Bain had the children say out loud during the assembly. “I will do my best. I will really try not to take my feelings out on the next guy or gal. It is awesome to be nice. That will be my goal. Because no one want to be around a mean old Madpole.”

The children signed their name on a board, pledging they would not be a bully.

Imari Colston, who is in the fifth grade, said it’s important that her and her classmates learn “that it’s not safe to be a bully.”

“I learned that it’s mean to be a bully,” Colston said after the assembly. “You should be a leader instead of a follower.”

Fifth-grader Kemal Robertson agreed.

“If you’re a bully, you’re never going to have friends,” Robertson said.

The board titled “No Bullying Zone” will be on display in Washington, D.C., and Oak Park Elementary students will be the only children in Louisiana to sign the board.

• • •

The event was sponsored by Louisiana Healthcare Connections, an affiliate of Centene Corporation.

Posted By: Eric Johnson On: 11/14/2013

Title: Human Rights...

When we come into a situation of conflict we must not think that all is lost already. But we must see it then as an occasion where we need to manage and resolve the conflict. Conflicts are to be expected. In other words, we must not be shocked when they occur. As we become mature we will be able to anticipate and avoid many conflicts. But it may be like road accidents, where even if we drive carefully, another man who is careless can get us into an accident. As long as we are on this earth, we will have to face conflicts of some kind or another.Do the right thing.

Posted By: Eric Johnson On: 11/14/2013

Title:

Conflicts are to be expected. In other words, we must not be shocked when they occur. As we become mature we will be able to anticipate and avoid many conflicts. But it may be like road accidents, where even if we drive carefully, another man who is careless can get us into an accident. As long as we are on this earth, we will have to face conflicts of some kind or another.When we come into a situation of conflict we must not think that all is lost already. But we must see it then as an occasion where we need to manage and resolve the conflict.

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