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MCC Honors Program Students Aren’t Clowning Around About Anti-Bullying

MCC Honors Program Students Aren’t Clowning Around About Anti-Bullying

The Mott Campus Clowns kick off their fourth year clowning for a cause

(FLINT, Mich., Oct. 15, 2014) — Students in the Honors Program at Mott Community College (MCC) have taken an unorthodox approach to prevent bullying – they clown around, literally.

The Mott Campus Clowns are a trained clown troupe made up of honor’s students, and they are serious about the issue of bullying. Two years ago, the group launched a new anti-bullying project to help elementary school students deal with bullying. 

About 28 percent of students in grades 6-12 experience some form of bullying according to bullying statistics for 2013. Over 30 percent of students admit to bullying classmates and peers. The majority of bullying still takes place at school; one in three U.S. students say they have been bullied at school, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Brian Ivory, Honors Program coordinator at MCC, oversees the Mott Campus Clowns, a troupe comprised of six MCC honor students enrolled in the service learning course Social Diversity and Civic Engagement Lab (HONS 251). Concerned about the incidence of bullying, Ivory recognized a need to deal with this pervasive problem early on in schools. The Mott Campus Clowns anti-bullying program includes a mix of anti-bully songs, classic clown routines, comedy magic and a student pledge to not bully others.

"In our classroom, students learn about a variety of social diversity issues, including bias, prejudice and discrimination," Ivory said. "Students learn such negative behaviors begin to appear early on in children, often in the act of bullying peers who are smaller, weaker or just different. The anti-bully work of the clown troupe not only fits into the course, it also helps students apply what they have learned in the classroom to address an issue that is a growing concern to students, teachers and parents alike."

As a course requirement, students enrolled in HONS 251 each develop a unique clown character complete with a clown name, costume and make-up. The students also spend seven weeks rehearsing an anti-bully program they will perform this month at schools, Boys and Girls Clubs and public events in Flint and Detroit.

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