Students at a Bayside school enjoyed a lesson from a superhero about respecting each other everywhere they go.
High-energy superhero “Omega-Man” captured the attention of the student body at P.S. 159 on Wednesday, Feb. 15, by combining fascinating feats of strength, motivational speaking and audience participation into one dynamic anti-bullying presentation.
Students were taught about the dangers of all types of bullying, including physical, emotional and cyber through a series of colorful presentations. In one instance, Omega-Man ripped a phone book, dubbed the “Book of Bad Choices,” in half — a metaphoric way of teaching children that their past mistakes don’t have to define their futures.
“If you can get their attention, you can get a message into their lives,” said Omega-Man, otherwise known as Marc Wilkes. “It’s the same message that teachers and mom and dads are saying; it’s just wrapped up in a different package.”
Wilkes is the founder of Omega-Man Schools. Formed in 2008, the group has visited more than 5,000 schools nationwide to discuss topics like bullying and peer pressure through engaging and energetic presentations.
Isabella Chang, 10, spoke about the educational and entertaining elements of the assembly.
“I learned to not do things and to not lie and be nice to everyone,” the fourth-grader and student council member said. “My favorite part was when he was talking to everyone about all the bad things people do and how to try not to do them. And also my favorite part was when he broke stuff.”
The event was organized by the school Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and coincided with the Department of Education’s “Respect for All” week.
“We feel that it’s so important for students to make good choices, to respect others and to stand up if they see something wrong, to say something,” said Teresa Kirchhofer, treasurer of the PTA. “We wanted to educate the students and empower them to have those tools, so that when they’re confronted with a situation, they know how to respond.”
P.S. 159 is a National Blue Ribbon elementary school located at 205-01 33rd Ave.