RICHMOND -- Hundreds of West Contra Costa students will be seeing a play put on by a San Francisco-based theater company as part of the school district's "Anti-Bullying Month" activities.
The play, titled "Outspoken," is about the ways that teens are bullied, teased and ostracized in school because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or body type, according to the New Conservatory of San Francisco Theater Center.
The theater group performs the play on middle school and high school campuses for a $250 fee per performance. Schools that can't afford the fee are encouraged to seek grant funding through the company.
The West County performances, announced at Wednesday evening's school board meeting, will last about 35-40 minutes, followed by a discussion period that addresses discrimination and harassment on school campuses and other social issues.
The schedule of 14 performances begins Monday at Crespi Middle School in El Sobrante and ends in early November.
The school board also heard a presentation from an after-school youth group at Kennedy High School in Richmond, formed as part the district's anti-bullying efforts. The group of about 30 to 40 boys meets on Friday afternoons. The group goes on field trips and participants are encouraged to take leadership roles in the group and in the school at large.
Board member Madeline Kronenberg cited the Kennedy students as examples of strides the campus has made in dealing with issues such as truancy and on-campus violence.
"I go to Kennedy a lot, and I've seen nothing but progress there lately," she said.
The district also recognized 81 employees with awards for 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service. West Contra Costa Unified has 2,844 full- and part-time employees.