School bullying was the topic of nationwide headlines earlier this year and sparked major controversy among students, teachers, and parents. In order to educate students locally, Mary Katherine Spencer of Sheltered Aid to Families in Emergencies (SAFE), Inc. came to New Albany Elementary School in mid-November to speak to the students about the importance of protecting those who are being bullied.
During their Integrity Time/Citizenship rotation, the students focused on ways to eliminate bullying at their school.
Spencer told the students that bullying is equal to violence and the definition of bullying is when one person does something to another person on purpose to hurt them, which can include teasing and name-calling. Students were also taught how to stop bullying and they learned “how NOT to be a bully.”
The students watched a video about students who are bystanders to different types of violence. The video presented four stories showing different types of “bullying situations” and provided possible solutions that students could use to deal with those situations.
The video that focused on four ways to help stop bullying and it advised the following:
- Tell how you feel. Simply tell the bully how you feel without a crowd present.
- Stand up together. Stop a bully together. There is strength in numbers.
- Help the victim walk away. Be a friend and help the victim get away from the bully.
- Tell an adult you trust. They can help you in many ways.
- The video sent the message that said, “If you see someone being bullied, you are only helping the bully if you don’t do something about it.”
NAES Counselor Stacy Morrission said, “We wanted to provide a program for our students that teach them that bullying is not acceptable at our school and we wanted to give them the tools necessary for dealing with bullying issues that may arise during school or outside of the school setting.”
The students wrote their name on a footprint to place on the cafeteria wall that says, “NAES – Stomping Out Bullying”. “We want our students to know that everyone has to do their part to keep bullying out of our school,” said Tammie Reeder, School Health Coordinator and Project Director for the J. D. Bower School Health Grant.