When Scout Lehi T. was very young and attended middle school, he was the victim of bullying. Classmates made fun of the way he looked, and what began as teasing became an everyday issue that followed the young man into high school.
“It’s a horrible feeling,” he said. “You just feel belittled and worthless.”
But, as is typical for a Scout, Lehi is taking an approach to his experience that is Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Cheerful, and Brave. He is turning his unpleasant experience with bullying into an opportunity to do some good for other young people that might be experiencing bullying.
The News & Observer shared the story of how Lehi decided to focus his Eagle Scout project on bullying.
He went back to Holly Grove Elementary School, which he had attended as a child, and constructed two “buddy benches” on the playground area for the students at the school. The purpose of the buddy benches is so that any student that is feeling upset or who is experiencing bullying can go sit on the bench.
The benches represent a safe space where students can get away from bullying. Others who see a student on the benches are encouraged to share a kind word or offer friendship and assistance to the student on the bench.
“If you’re a student there and you are ever feeling lonely or sad, you can go sit on those benches,” Lehi explained. “I think that’s very important, because bullying starts at a young age. I would like that to stop. I know the pain of what these little kids could be feeling.”
“It’s just a good visual for kids to know that there’s a safe place to go on the playground,” said Mike Przybowski, a Holly Grove Elementary school counselor. “We have a very safe school here anyway, but you know problems sometimes go unnoticed, and it helps to gain awareness of it.”
To learn more about Lehi’s Eagle Scout project to put a stop to bullying, be sure to read the full article in the News & Observer.