Saltsburg Students Are Challenged to “Box Out Bullying”

The Saltsburg Elementary School PTO sponsored an assembly for students on September 29th.  While the students were entertained, they also learned about bullying – what it is, how to prevent it, and what to do if they see it happening.

The assembly, Box Out Bullying, was presented by Box Out Productions, LLC an organization founded by Jeremy Rubenstein.  After graduating from Penn State University with degrees in journalism, theater, and history, Rubenstein was approached by educators and members of the community who asked him to create a program in response to a student’s suicide.  Rubenstein combined his theater skills with educational principles and proven bullying prevention techniques resulting in the interactive assembly.

“A school stays unsafe if there is a problem, and no one does anything about it,” Rubenstein said.  “It’s not your fault if you are being bullied.”

In a fun and interactive way, he gave the students several rules to prevent bullying: don’t bully others; Help others instead of hurting them; Include students who might feel left out: and Tell and adult and school and an adult at home.   Rubenstein stressed the difference between “telling” and “tattle-telling.”

‘Tattle-telling’ is when you just want to get others in trouble.  ‘Telling’ protects someone; it takes courage,” Rubenstein said.

The presenters also showed students how to identify bullying behavior.  They define students who bully as impulsive, easily upset, and unable to understand how others feel.

The title of the production is a basketball term that he uses as a metaphor.  In the game, teammates “box out” opposing players after a shot is made at the basket to prevent them from taking possession of the rebound.  Similarly, Rubenstein wants students to “box out” bullying behaviors and prevent them from controlling their lives.

Rubenstein has created age-appropriate versions of the presentation for lower and upper elementary and middle school students.  For more information about the nationally touring bullying prevention program, readers my visit