Three W. Mich. brothers seek to stop bullying at school

THREE RIVERS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Three brothers in West Michigan are on a mission to end bullying at their school.

They started a club to end bullying at Norton Elementary School, after a buddy bench was brought to Three Rivers in January.

This week, Newschannel 3 talked to the students behind the program to see how and why it's working.

It's called the Bully-Free Club; all but 5 students in the school have signed up, and it's pretty simple: the three brothers behind it say it's all about making friends.

For Jared, Ryan, and Alex Lubiniecki--like most boys their age--there's nothing better than recess.

But time on the monkey bars is no fun alone, as the threesome is all about making new friends.

"There were some kids that were getting bullied in my class, and I kind of felt bad for them, so I decided to start hanging out with them," 5th grader Jared said.

Norton Elementary brought the Buddy Bench to the school at the beginning of the year, to make sure no one was lonely on the playground.

But Jared thought they needed more.

He went to school in April with an idea for a club that would include everyone.

"Just to make sure everyone has a friend," Jared said.

"They would just be lonely at recesses, they would be walking around playing by themselves," said 1st grader Alex.

With the help of his two younger brothers Alex, and 3rd grader Ryan, the Bully-Free Club meets every Tuesday at recess.

"We run around the playground once to see if everyone wants to come play," Ryan said.

"We make up games," Alex said. "If everyone doesn't agree, we change it."

They even made a YouTube commercial to get others to join.

The brothers say it's all about getting along, and having a good time.

"To make sure everyone had a friend; most of the kids that got bullied didn't have friends," Jared said.

"If you have enough friends, you can play more games," Alex added.

The club works to make sure everyone has a good time at recesses by getting a chance to play and meeting new people.

"Everyone is getting along, and it's just easier because we are having lots of fun," Ryan said.

The school says they had 13 bullying incidents since the beginning of the year, but only one since the bench arrived, and none since the Bully-Free Club started.