'Buddy bench' brings students together

News 8's Philip Townsend has more.

LAKE DALLAS -- Elementary school recess can be an intimidating time for many children.

Lake Dallas ISD fifth grader Benjamin High can relate.

"I've been in some cases where I haven't had anyone to play with," he told us.

But Wednesday, he chose a good place to sit at Lake Dallas Elementary School.

"Even just sitting here, it feels nice," Benjamin said.

It's called the 'buddy bench.'

"Because we know, at times, that we all just need a buddy," said Lake Dallas ISD Superintendent Gayle Stinson.

After seeing success with the benches at other schools across the country, leaders wanted to make sure the district has one of its own.

A local family donated the materials and built the bench. Now students can use it to make new friends, work things out, or just be nice, in general.

It's a visual reminder to be a buddy instead of a bully.

"I think this is the best way for children to look outside themselves at what it might feel like to be the child sitting on the bench," said District Leadership Development Director Karen Dower.

For Benjamin, the message is simple.

"Just join someone," he said. "Then you won't feel left out."

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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