This school year, teachers and students in Randolph Central School worked hard to educate each other on the negative effects bullying can have on students today. Teachers Carrie Shaw (grades 7-8) and Heather Brock (grades 9-12) were named Randolph Central School’s Bullying Prevention Specialists. Both advisors and their clubs worked hard this year to get to the bottom of bullying and brought great perspective of this issue to their district through different events and activities.
The Anti-Bullying Clubs, as they came to be known, worked hard to bring many different educational events to RCS this year. Beyond researching, creating, and displaying educational posters on how to properly deal with cyber bullying, students organized a “Wear Pink or Purple” day inspired by a movement called Pink Shirt Day, which was an anti-bullying movement in Nova Scotia in 2007. Students were also encouraged to sign an anti-bullying pledge, which were displayed in a main hallway in our school. To focus on the positive attributes of RCS, the Anti-Bullying clubs also sponsored a “Caught Ya Being Kind!” award for grades 7-12. These awards were given by students and teachers using a rubric system. Winners were recognized on the morning announcements, given a certificate, and their photos were displayed on a bulletin board for one month as well.
With cyber bullying becoming so prominent within the bullying laws in NYS this year, RCS focused much of its attention in the Anti-Bullying Clubs on this issue. The district hosted an after-school showing of the ABC Family movie “Cyberbullly”, which tells of the negative effects inappropriate use of the internet can have on youth. The administration also worked closely with the Bullying Prevention Specialists to alter the school’s bell schedule for three mornings to
allow the showing of this movie in school. This allowed the students to see the movie and have time with their homeroom classes to hold a discussion on the third day.
Some other things RCS has done this year regarding anti-bullying include a field trip to the First Niagara Center for an Anti-Bullying training for teens and teachers hosted by the Buffalo Sabres hockey team. Here they role played and peer mentored in different bullying scenarios and learned out to “teach back” to their districts about what they had learned regarding bullying. This day was fun for the students because they got to watch some of the Sabres practice and ask one of the players questions about his experiences with bullying growing up. The middle school anti-bullying club did a lot this year with self-esteem and team-building skills, which is so essential at that age. The high school students were very interested in outreach, so they organized and advertised for many of the events that took place within the district this year. The high school group also completed a book study on the novel 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult, which was about a school shooting that took place because a young boy was bullied so much.
Overall the teachers and administration at RCS were pleased with the efforts made this year to educate each other on bullying and how it is effecting youth today. The events and activities held this year, according to students, made a difference in how even just one day could go for some kids. That is what makes the efforts worthwhile.
By Heather Brock, English Teacher, Randolph Central School