WEATHERLY, Pa. — A transforming surprise with an important message stopped by Weatherly Elementary School in Carbon County.
Optimus Prime, from the Transformers, rolled up to the school to encourage kids to rise against bullies.
Sebastian Woolbert is one of the teachers who made this possible for students.
He said it was a no-brainer to cover the topic of anti-bullying as more students experience it.
"A higher percentage of students are bullied as opposed to being bullies themselves, and the biggest thing is to just know that you know there's a lot of support for them to stand up for themselves and to just let people know that it's happening and that their not alone and they can get through it," said Woolbert.
Joe Fiduccia is the man behind the fan-built replica of Optimus Prime from the movie "Age of Extinction."
"Optimus is a very strong, courageous character. He's always trying to do the right thing, and these students know who that is, so pulling in a surprising them right away, we try to get them to understand that bullies aren't going to do away, but you always have the strength that Optimus does, and you can rise above anyone who tries to bring you down," said Fiduccia.
He talked about why bullies may lash out, to think before they act, and what students can do if it happens to them.
Teachers say having Optimus Prime share a lesson on anti-bullying drove the message home for students.
"If you're bringing in a robot from another planet telling you not to be a bully, I think you're going to listen to them a lot more than your going to listen to your parents," Woolbert said.
"It showed how to stand up against bullies. It's good that there getting it out there that bullies are always going to be here," said 6th grader, Thomas Sypeck.
"Don't bully people because you wouldn't want to be bullied. It's like the golden rule. Like, treat people the way you want to be treated," said Katherine Morales, a 5th grader.
Optimus' sidekick Bumblebee even made an appearance.
After the presentation, students were asked if they wanted to join Team Prime and stand up against bullying.
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