Local Elementary School Learns Ways to Prevent Bullying

Published 02/26 2014 09:36PM

Updated 02/26 2014 10:55PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Reports of bullying in schools have become a national issue, and educators across the country have made an effort to put it to an end.

That included Hall Elementary in St. Joseph.

Students switched up their morning routine, and started the day with a 'Stomp-Out Bullying Pledge' as part of Anti-Bullying Week.

"Bullying is when someone is getting picked on, teased, or intimidated by someone else," said Olivia Markt, sixth grade student at Hall.

Markt is the President of the Student Advisory Council.

She, and her committee, planned the week to show classmates the ins and outs of bullying.

"It [bullying] could be just pushing somebody down for no reason at all, just because they're not exactly like you. And, just because you feel like you're better than them, and you can do whatever you want," said Markt.

Students and staff decorated classroom doors, and planned lessons around bullying scenarios.

Kathy Roberts, a Guidance Counselor at Hall, said that kept students engaged.

"All of the kids can see, everybody is working on this week," said Roberts.

Roberts said they addressed bullying in different ways.

Students, third and sixth grade, learned about relational aggression.

"It's really more of a girl thing, but it's spreading rumors, making clicks of girls and not letting other girls join into those clicks. Talking behind somebody's back, rolling of eyes," said Roberts.

But, all students learned the basics.

"Verbal harassment, physical harassment, written harassment," said Roberts.

Overall, the week was geared to teach students to what to do if they run into a bully.

Teachers and staff said they want students to feel comfortable asking for help if ever in that situation.

"Just empowering students to stand up for themselves and get help from an adult," said Roberts.

A recent study shows about 50 percent of students in Missouri report bullying as an issue.

Hall Elementary said Anti-Bullying Week will become a yearly event hoping to prevent bullying at school.

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