Petaluma students fight bullying at school workshop

Seeing a schoolmate sad because someone else was bullying him, Old Adobe Elementary School second-grader Delaney became an ally.

"Are you OK?" she asked him. "Are you sure? Do you need a friend?"

Delaney was play acting Thursday at the Petaluma school, and her friend wasn't really the victim of a bully. The role-playing was practice for real-world problems schoolchildren face.

Old Adobe parents invited Soul Shoppe, an Oakland bullying prevention organization, to work with every student at the school, from kindergartners through sixth-graders, on how to spot bullying and how to stop it before someone is seriously hurt.

"Please stop. We don't want this at our school," about 100 kids said in unison, following the example of Soul Shoppe leader Joseph Savage, who has run the program for 13 years with co-founder Vicki Abadesco, both former teachers.

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