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Creston kids confront bullying with drama

April 27, 2013
Creston students in play on bullying
Creston 8th graders Adrianah Dorn (left) and Stephanie Woods were among two dozen classmates who worked with Creston teacher Stacy Murphy to create "McMean Middle School," a play about bullying.

When Creston middle grades students wrote short plays about bullying as part of an Oregon Children's Theater project, the students and their arts teacher Stacy Murphy knew their creativity shouldn't stop there.

Murphy took the pieces that her students had written and morphed them into one compelling play that follows a group of students through a range of conflict, bringing home what bullying looks and feels like as well as how to resolve it.

They named the play "McMean Middle School," an endearment to cherished former Principal Andy McKean. They performed the play for a packed house of parents, family members and other students at Creston in April.

Eighth grader, Adrianah Dorn, performs a snippet from the play "McMean Middle School".
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Stephanie Woods, an 8th grader involved in the play, said the play's authenticity was its power.

"It's really important to me that it was based on real life," Stephanie said. "Because some kids do all of this stuff that hurts one person."

Adrianah Dorn, also in 8th grade, said being a part of the play is helping her prepare to be involved in drama in high school.

"The play was about what we wrote," she said. "It's easier for us to get into character because we wrote it."

The play ended with each of the student actors sharing the lessons they learned:

"I can see now that bullying is wrong," says Sam. "I need to do better things with my life."

"It’s painful to watch a friend get bullied," says Christina. "You have to stand up for each other. I love my friends."

"Be who you are, and say what you feel," says Chantel, "because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind."


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