Published on November 3rd, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
District Five schools focus on bullying prevention
Irmo High School students and staff culminated a month-long bullying prevention initiative on Oct. 31 with activities for students during their lunch.
IRMO – October was National Bullying Prevention Month, and schools throughout Lexington-Richland School District Five held events to educate students and adults about the problem of bullying and ways to prevent it.
From forums to informational videos, students in elementary and secondary schools throughout the district were provided opportunities to talk about bullying and find inspiration to join anti-bullying efforts. One in three U.S. students say they have been bullied, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“As a school district, we try to highlight bullying prevention year-round,” District Five Parenting and Social Work Coordinator Jennifer Felkel said. “National Bullying Prevention month presents another opportunity for us to teach students the importance of empathy, caring for others and respecting differences. It’s up to us as educators and as parents to give students the tools they need to be successful, and pro-social skills are a part of that important preparation.”
Students and staff at Oak Pointe Elementary participate in a year-round program teaching students the importance of reporting bully behavior and the difference between bullying and unkind words.
“Anytime you can shine a light on something like bullying prevention is a good opportunity to reinforce important social skills,” said Oak Pointe Elementary Counselor Jennifer Metts. “We really focus year-round on teaching students how to disagree appropriately, resolve their problems and understand what the spectrum of bullying is and what to do when a real act of bullying occurs.”
At Chapin Middle, students signed a banner pledging to remain drug-free and bully-free. Counselors also discussed the importance of tolerance and acceptance, and staff and students received bracelets with the message “United We Stand Against Bullying and Drugs.”
“Talking about the issue and raising awareness is key when it comes to bullying prevention,” said Chapin Middle Guidance Director Thais West. “National Bullying Prevention Month was important to highlight for two reasons: to increase awareness that bullying has lifelong impact and to give students the tools they need to respond effectively.”
Irmo High School students and staff culminated a month-long bullying prevention initiative on Oct. 31 with activities for students during their lunch. “The team did a great job getting the students to recognize the importance of bullying prevention,” said Alisa Long, an Irmo High School teacher who helped organize the initiative. “Our mission was to bring awareness to the issue, and I think we accomplished that goal.”