May 6, 2015

Hazen student uses anti-bullying as a pageant platform

By Daniel Arens

Delanie Wiedrich, Hazen, is tying a message of anti-bullying into her involvement in the Miss North Dakota pageant. Wiedrich, who won the title of Miss Grand Forks and will be competing for the title of Miss North Dakota, has adopted the platform “Beyond the B Word,” an anti-bullying platform which uses the arts, specifically theater, to “teach the importance of courage, empathy and kindness.”
“Beyond the B Word” is a platform designed to shift the bullying conversation away from one which treats the bully as the bad guy. Referring to this approach, Wiedrich said, “It’s not a solution and, unfortunately, it’s not helping.”
Instead, Wiedrich focuses on the importance of empathy for both the bully and the bullied, and being able to understand what causes bullying to occur, and what its effects are on everyone involved.
“It would be great to use the title of Miss North Dakota to take it [her platform] to the national level,” Wiedrich said.
Wiedrich will return to Hazen in May, and is planning on making a drama camp that is tied to her platform. The camp will be a one-day event, in which kids in the community can learn about the basics of theater and present a skit to the wider public. Her camp will also specifically use the medium of drama to address and teach about bullying and its impacts.
Wiedrich appreciates the unique role that drama can play in facilitating these conversations. According to Wiedrich, drama will help kids learn “to be courageous, empathetic, and kind when it’s not easy to do so,” adding that “theater forces you to take on the role of other people.”

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