Nearly 250 students from kindergarten to fifth-grade filled the gymnasium at Pelican Elementary Friday morning for an anti-bullying assembly put on by the Klamath Chapter of Hands and Words are not for Hurting.

Following the assembly students paired up with younger classmates to create anti-bullying posters themed in “hands are for helping” for a school-wide poster competition.

The assembly and poster competition are part of a larger initiative to reduce bullying at Pelican Elementary through better problem-solving. Students are also taught how to make better decisions and solve inter-personal problems through Kelso’s Choices, a cartoon frog that finds different ways to solve his problems without violence.

The idea behind the poster competition came from the PBIS team (Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports team) in hopes of helping the situation of school bullying.

Starting in January the posters will be hung on the walls of the school, “to remind them there are other ways to solve a problem rather than using your hands,” said Michelle McCabe, Principal of Pelican Elementary.

The hope is that by involving the students in creating the anti-bullying posters there will be a sense of ownership in both the message and their actions in the future.