When Piedmont Elementary School fifth grader Izzy Sherman was being bullied, she told an adult and things got better. Telling an adult was the theme of an anti-bullying magic show performed at the school Thursday morning.
Kelvin Saline started his magic show with some basic ring tricks to warm up the students. He then asked them what types of things constitute bullying. The kids responded with "someone being rude," "taking over their stuff" and "making up things to get them in trouble."
Then Saline told the kids about his friend, Charlie, who was bullied. Charlie would hide in the bushes and try to get into school as quick as he could without his bully seeing. But he would get caught and his bully wouldn’t let him in the school unless Charlie gave the bully his lunch.
Saline then introduced the students to Charlie, a ventriloquist dummy, but first the students had to wake up Charlie by screaming the magic words, “Tell an adult.” The noise was deafening.
After Charlie told the kid about how he stopped his bully, the kids were quizzed and then rewarded with one last magic trick.
For this trick, Izzy was brought to the front to help. Saline uncovered a pillory — a wooden frame with a hole for restraining the head with a lock — and Izzy’s jaw dropped.
“I was really scared I was going to have to stick my head in there,” she said.
Luckily it was Saline who got locked in the pillory by Izzy, who held the keys to the locks. After three attempts, Saline was able to break free.
Saline has been doing this anti-bullying show for the last five years in elementary schools all over Minnesota and Wisconsin.
“I was bullied somewhat as a kid, but back then you settled that with your fists,” Saline said. “Nowadays, you can’t do that and it’s become more complicated. So I just wanted to put something out there that kids can use instead of violence.”
Saline’s advice throughout his show to the students is to tell an adult if they are bullied or if they see someone being bullied. Telling an adult is exactly what Izzy did this year when she was being bullied.
“She’s been here since third grade,” Izzy said about her bully. “She started out to be OK, but as you get to know people you start to see how they really are. I’m in (this program) so I told them and my social worker about my bully.”
Izzy said it helped and that other kids should do the same thing.
“I was bullied for a year and a half. I didn’t tell anyone until this year,” Izzy said. “I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I wish I would have told an adult sooner.”