Bullying Assembly Uses Comedy to Reach Students
Phoebe Prince was stalked and harassed for months before committing suicide. This type of
bullying behavior is becoming a staple of youth culture. Keith Deltano is using comedy to fight
this serious problem.
(PRWEB) May 24, 2010 -- Phoebe Prince was stalked and harassed at school for months before committing
suicide. In a nation where students are being bullied to death, is comedy the appropriate vehicle to use to address
bullying? Keith Deltano thinks it is. He uses comedy to conduct anti bullying assemblies. Bullying is a tough
and sometimes controversial topic that few would associate with comedy. However, Keith believes that “serious
comedy” forces the students to examine how they treat one another.
Keith points out that comedy has always been used to deal with controversial topics. Keith says, “Richard Pryor
used comedy to attack institutionalized racism, Bill Cosby used comedy to highlight the challenges faced by the
American family, so it shouldn’t seem so unusual that I use comedy to take on bullies .” Keith believes the
students respond to comedy because of what it’s not: boring. “The students come into the bullying assembly
expecting a lecture. They have that ‘not another lecture look’ any teacher in America is familiar with. Within
seconds I have them laughing…at themselves and their prejudice, critical and judgmental attitudes.”
Keith uses comedy to get the students to redefine what they consider bullying. Keith believes most students
would define bullying as physical contact. Keith feels they just don’t consider gossip, off or online, as bullying.
Keith says, “Most students view bullying as physical contact that happens between ‘the guys’. I tell them that
I’ve taught middle school, been shot at, stabbed, jumped out of planes with the Army and fought in the Tough
Man contest…there is nothing that scares me more than a middle school girl!”
Indeed, Keith spends a lot of time on the destructive ways girls can treat each other. Ke