Anti-bullying benches new concept in elementary schools

(WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Educators in Indiana want to add anti-bully benches called Buddy Benches to 38 Hamilton County elementary schools.

Fall Creek Elementary in Fishers has one that students frequent often.

Only a handful of schools in the state received the green seat designed for students to make new friends. It’s also a safe place for students to sit when they feel bullied or alone.

The Buddy Bench concept is popular in Europe and is slowly making its way to the United States.

“Students love it and so do their parents. To know that their child is fully accepted in school and the environment they are in is priceless,” said Beverly Smith with Hamilton Southeastern Schools.

“They use to wander around by themselves. This gives them a spot to go where others can see when they need a friend,” said Fall Creek Elementary Principal Amy Jackson.

“If you see someone sitting on the bench, you ask them if they want to play and they say yes,” said second grade student Ashlyn Stanley.

The benches cost less than $500.

The Hamilton County Leadership Academy is looking for corporate sponsors to fund additional Buddy Benches.

“We only have one sponsor at this time,” said Marnie Cooke with Noblesville Schools.

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