St. Francis bullying club gaining strength

1. The idea came up after the suicide of a young girl who used to go to school here last year. She still had many friends here.  Amanda Arcoren approached the Principal and HS Counselor and said she was tired of the bullying and it’s effects and wanted to do something about it.  So, a group of students and two of the counselors (Dee Curtis and Robin Wakanojanjan) started a Bullying Prevention Club.  The club later evolved as the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Student Committee.  OLWEUS is a comprehensive School Bullying Prevention Program with some documented success in diverse settings.  We meet weekly after school for 2 hours.

2. What is Bullying?  It is repeated, unwanted negative attention targeted at someone who is perceived as being less powerful in some way.  Basically, it’s “Peer Abuse”. 

We are careful not to label anyone a “Bully” or a “Victim” as labels result in a self-fulfilling prophecy.  When people are labeled they feel they might as well live up to the label.  Labels are similar to a naming and so we just try to say that person engaged in “Bullying behavior” or was “Victimized” by a person.

3. As one of the two committee advisors, I’ve seen a lot more self-reflection in the participants.  They’ve grown for sure.  They now stop and question themselves a bit more when engaging with peers and relationship issues.  One girl in particular, Donette Leader Charge, has emerged as an advocate and leader for the club.

4. Weekly, 4-6PM.  OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Student Committee

5.Arlie Eastman has pics.  I’ll send some pics as well on another email. 

PS. Committee Activities:  Creating PSA’s with a independent Film maker based on St. Francis student survey results.  We are also hoping to make a film telling our personal stories to share with other students.

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