Annual anti-bullying week at North forwards awareness of the subject

Kyle Milligan

 

 

“I Think bully awareness is an important cause becuase there are many people who are afraid, have low self-esteem and have commited suicide because of bullying. Bullying is awful, I feel people who bully other people do it because they themselves were bullied or have insecurities,” said Senior Jasmine Brown.

Last month the hallways of North were decorated with posters depicting the subject of bullying to support Anti-Bullying week. Each poster depicted either a picture of a child being bullied, the child standing alone, or an adult consoling a child who had been bullied.

Principal Richard Kramer believes it was a great opportunity for everyone to recognize bullying and what it can do to a school climate and culture.

“I think the biggest issue,” Kramer said, “is we always focus on the person who does the bullying and who is the victim. A lot of this could be taken care of if we didn’t permit this stuff to go on and if people would step up.”

Junior Stephen Phillips embraces the cause, but isn’t confident it will have much of an effect.

“I think extra encouragement and reminders is great and, unfortunately necessary for some people,” Stephens said. “However, I’m not sure it is important because those who bully will do it anyway.”

Kramer said it’s critical for those that watch to act for any anti-bullying policy.

“Sometimes it’s really difficult,” Kramer said, “for that person who is being bullied to act. If we can get more people aware and are willing to step up and report it, then that’s going to be a huge plus for our school.”

Junior Jordan Johnson believes despite the effort to make people change their ways it all starts at home.

“I feel like bullying is one of those things that we can work to prevent all we want,” Johnson said, “but you can’t teach in school what parents’ attitudes implicitly teach children. They’ll follow by example, and hopefully that example is good.”

Kramer said punishment varies on the situations.

“It can go anywhere from long-term suspension to just a conference,” Kramer said. “It just depends on what we find out. We have two police officers and an SRO here so we always bring them in on it and they’re always made aware.”

Phillips said that he witnessed bullying and took the initiative to help that person.

“I have witnessed cruel teasing,” Phillips said, “not in a friendly manner whatsoever and I did attempt to stop the offenders who did stop, thankfully.”

Kramer said if a student is being bullied there is an anti-bullying link on the North school website where people can report incidents anonymously.

“We always will investigate anything that we find on there,” Kramer said. “We deal with it rather severely and I’d like to think we don’t have many outwardly bullying tactics going on, but I’m sure we have a lot of covert type of activities.”

There is also the option of taking your situation to any administrator or staff member, which after going through evaluation will be dealt with.

“Once it’s brought to our attention, we are obligated to at least look into it,” Kramer said. “Now whether it’s truly a bullying situation, that has to be determined, but we find in most cases that there’s always two sides to every issue and there always seems to be some common ground.”