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Soldiers give Stanislaus Military Academy students a lesson on anti-bullying
During the Armys visit to Stanislaus Military Academy on Wednesday, students got the opportunity to operate TALON, a tracked military robot that is designed to protect first responders against explosive threats. - photo by Photo Contributed

A United States Army trailer and hard-to-miss tracked military robot could be seen at Stanislaus Military Academy Wednesday as soldiers visited the campus to promote an anti-bullying atmosphere and provide students with information about the army.


“Bullying is specifically an issue that I do take seriously. It’s something I’ve seen firsthand and it’s something that happens to a lot of students,” said Sgt. Francisco Ochoa. “Most students don’t know what to do in these situations, so if there was one or two that were positively affected with this, it is worth it in my opinion.”


Hosted by the Turlock Army Recruiting Center, the event invited students into the army’s adventure asset, which is a trailer that enables the army to present classes or engagement skills training, for an anti-bullying presentation. Students learned more about different physical and verbal bullying scenarios, the effects of bullying, ways to combat bullying as a bystander and how to cope with bullying.


“Bullying doesn't just affect the ones getting bullied. Everyone has a part to play in preventing it,” said Ochoa. “Students already know for the most part that bullying is not okay, so it was a nice opportunity to get away from the classroom for a bit and talk to some soldiers to get a better understanding of what bullying is and how they can better spot it in the future.”


Students not only learned more about ways to promote an anti-bullying atmosphere at Stanislaus Military Academy, but about the army as well, according to Ochoa, who said that the army provided army booklets and lanyards to students. Students also got the chance to play video games and operate TALON, a lightweight, unmanned tracked military robot designed to protect first responders against explosive threats.


“Students got to try to pick up a bottle that was randomly placed in the middle of the basketball court with the robot,” said Ochoa.


Ochoa said that after the army’s stop at Stanislaus Military Academy Wednesday, the adventure asset now has plans to visit high schools in Turlock, Patterson, Delhi and Ceres next week.


“Bullying is something that the army does take seriously,” said Ochoa. “Of course we want to put out name out there and let students know about us, but our chiefest concern is the well-being of people. We want to help in any way that we can in anything that we do.”