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Preventing bullying in Marysville

Carlton Doup, of Kung Fu 4 Kids in Marysville, speaks to his students about his own experiences with bullying. - Kirk Boxleitner
Carlton Doup, of Kung Fu 4 Kids in Marysville, speaks to his students about his own experiences with bullying.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Carlton Doup knows what it’s like to experience bullying, which is why he and the owners of 200 other martial arts schools across the country are teaming up to put a stop to it.

Doup is the “sifu,” or teacher, at Kung Fu 4 Kids in Marysville and during his 13 years in town, he’s presented countless programs for the community and its schools, including bullying prevention talks and seminars.

Doup and hundreds of fellow martial arts instructors felt that a more nationwide push against bullying was needed, which was why they met this spring to discuss methods of solving the problem of bullying more effectively.

Doup has already started a Facebook group called “Bully Prevention for Marysville Washington,” to help enlist the aid of other community members in his cause.

“We’re still researching our resources, but we’d love to get some child psychologists involved,” Doup said. “Social networks are immensely popular and can be a powerful tool in education. It’s not just kids that use it, but also parents and grandparents. With things like Facebook groups, you can reach out to people and stay in their minds, with weekly updates and questions.”

Doup hopes to approach the problem by speaking not only to the victims of bullying, but also to its perpetrators and the bystanders who observe it.

“Bystanders have such a huge influence that they don’t even realize,” Doup said. “Bullying is rarely done without their presence. A lot of people will let their guard down and start egging on bullies, and a lot of bullies get a rush from it. I was bullied as a child, and I engaged in bullying once myself. We have to change these social attitudes.”

Doup has already conducted several anti-bullying workshops at local schools for free, but he’s open to new avenues of getting this message out.

“Martial arts is not about beating people up, but about defending yourself from danger,” Doup said. “I’d love to hear other people’s ideas on this subject, because I’m about learning, not dictating.”

Kung Fu 4 Kids is located at 804 Cedar Ave. and is online.

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