Fighting bullying in southwest Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

Several students at a Southwest Fresno elementary school talked about the kinds of bullying they face daily.

Monday morning five performer-educators dressed as kids discussed bullying and peaceful conflict resolution at West Fresno elementary school.

The name of the show is "Peace Signs" and is part of Kaiser Permanente's educational theatre program performing around the state for free.

"We're trained on how to talk to the kids about any kind of conflict they may go through. And they definitely go through different kinds of conflicts. The cool thing is there is a way to get out of all these things in a great way," said Galen Brown with Kaiser.

Once the bell sounds this innocent schoolyard can turn into a playground for bullies.

"People pretend that they are cooler. They pretend that they're something they are not," said 9-year old Sarah Cardenas.

Fifth grader Tatianna Rodriguez said: "I used to be called names. I used to be called names by my weight. And that wasn't really nice."

And Tayshawun Bradford wondered why kids were mean ... "I don't know. I think they're just insecure and they're mean or they've been picked on."

Each one of these kids can relate. Principal Armando Ayala said bullying is a problem at school ... one he's working to end.

Ayala: "We're going to be putting together a student committee that's going to work with a teacher committee and we are putting in place a conflict management group made by kids for kids."

These students said they were more tuned in to Monday's performance than others before them.

Cardenas: "Most people they try to get through kids by doing it in an adult way but sometimes it's better to have it shown, in a better way, as kids can see it."

Bradford: "I think it was interesting how they had arguments and how they solved the problems with stop, think and act."

All 300 students at West Fresno have a chance to invite their parents to see the show again Thursday night.

The actors with Kaiser Permanente will be visiting for the next week discussing how to deal with life's future challenges.

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