What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 2 days ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 3 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 3 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 12 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 13 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 21 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 21 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
2 years 23 weeks ago
More in Featured
Bullying not tolerated at Paris Elementary
BULLYING COMMITTEE — Oxford Hills Middle School seventh graders from left, Sydney Rowell, Cayla Sugars and Ebony Wells, all victims of bullies in the past and founders of the anti-bullying committee, speak to sixth graders Monday about their ideas for preventing bullying at Paris Elementary.
PARIS — A group of sixth graders at Paris Elementary have teamed up and are serious about putting an end to bullying.
On Monday, the bullying committee, made up of about 15 students, met for the first time with their Principal Jane Fahey and Guidance Counselor Cathy Jordan to set the ground rules for the committee and begin brainstorming activities for the school year.
The committee invited back three seventh graders who began the project last year. At Monday's meeting, they spoke to the sixth graders about the vision they had for addressing the issue and how they hoped those ideas would be implemented.
In addition, students set ground rules to help meetings go smoothly and to make sure everyone gets along. Among the rules are raising hands before speaking, listening to others, staying on task, being focused, prepared, on time, respectful and, of course, no bullying.
The students also agreed to not use real names when speaking of anyone who's been a victim or perpetrator of bullying.
"You treat people the way you want to be treated," Fahey told the students.
Peer to peer
Seventh graders Ebony Wells, Cayla Sugars and Sydney Rowell, who first began the bullying committee last year, sat at the front of the classroom Monday to answer questions from the sixth graders.
Students agreed to take turns facilitating each meeting by choosing three names at random. The purpose of the committee is to also strengthen the students' leadership skills, says Fahey.
While the sixth-graders watched a brief introductory video on bullying, the three seventh-grade girls met in a separate classroom to share their experiences as victims of bullies.
"It started with Facebook," said Cayla.
"Have you heard of that new movie Bully?" asked Ebony. "Well, it was around May that it came out and I saw a trailer on it ... and it literally made me sick to my stomach."
In response to the video, Wells emailed the link of the trailer to other students at school and Cayla and Sydney were first to respond. Then they met with Principal Fahey to brainstorm how to deal with bullying at Paris Elementary.
So far, the girls have made anti-bullying posters. They also managed to form a bullying committee, which this year's sixth graders have taken over.
According to Ebony, the girls have spoken with other students about what they've seen or heard at school on the playground, in the lunch room and on the bus. "We did it to see what was going on," said Cayla.
They learned that there are many types of bullying – cyber, verbal, physical, emotional and even through text messages – and a lot of it was happening at their school, especially physical bullying.
Fun and games
All three girls said they've either been a victim or perpetrator of bullying in one way or another – they said bullying happens mostly on the playground.
"What we heard most is that people have been called names by the bullies," said Ebony.
"There were these separate groups," said Cayla, "a popular girl group and a group of boys and others that didn't care what people said about them.
"The boy group spread rumors about the girls and it happened to all three of us," said Cayla. Ebony said she's been tripped by the boys at school before.
According to Cayla, students get made fun of for how they look, whether they are short, tall, thin or overweight. Sydney said bullying became so bad in the school that friends have even turned on her for sitting with other people at lunch one day.
"At recess or lunch, it got bad," said Cayla. "People would actually walk over to another person's table and tell them [a rumor] that came from an entirely different table."
She said one time she witnessed a student being made fun of for being overweight and that student became so upset they pushed their lunch tray away and didn't eat.
"They [the bullies] thought it was fun and games," said Ebony.
The girls said from their knowledge, bullying happens everyday at school and mostly in fourth, fifth and sixth grade.
"In sixth grade, if you were too smart you'd be made fun of, or if you didn't know anything, you'd be made fun of," Ebony told the class.
To address bullying, students suggested making anti-bullying posters, making public service announcements, holding assemblies and assigning students to be hall or playground monitors during school.
Cayla, Ebony and Sydney said they hope the committee will be effective in preventing bullying at school. "If that bully knows you have people who are supporting you, they will most likely stop," said Ebony.
The committee will meet the first Monday of each month around noon. Fahey said students will hear from school counselor Cathy Jordan, counselors from R.E.A.C.H. (Rape Education and Crisis Hotline) and Paris Police Chief/D.A.R.E. Officer David Verrier throughout the school year.
"Bullying won't be tolerated here anymore," said Fahey.
by Kayla Collins