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Students lead R-A against bullying

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Eight students between 10th and 12th grade led a seminar on bullying to the Ruthven-Ayrshire school district. Students shared their experience, both as a bully and as a victim, and the student leaders offered resources to other victims of bullying situations. The response from the teachers and fellow students was "excellent," and the district hopes to make this a "continued topic."
(Photo submitted)
Earlier this year, a group of students came to Ruthven-Ayrshire principal Jon Josephson to talk about bullying within the district.

"They wondered what we had planned throughout the year as far as bullying and harassment," Josephson said.

The eight students, on Nov. 28, put together a seminar for their fellow students, to reach grades five and up.

"We felt that it was important so people knew what was going on," Student Daisy Jordan said. "My friend and I talked about it, and we felt we should talk about it as a school."

The resulting seminar generated an "excellent" response from both the students and teachers at the school. Some students shared personal testimonies, both from experience as a bully or as a victim of a bully from throughout their school experience.

"There's a lot of venues that this type of behavior occurs," Josephson said, "both in and out of school situations."

After the seminar, Jordan noted that students and teachers talked throughout the day.

"A lot of teachers were saying that things needed to be changed with bullying," she said. "There was even an entire freshman class who made a sign for someone in their grade who hadn't been treated very well."

The purpose of the seminar, in addition to speak out against bullying, was to inform victims of bullying situations that there were people they could talk to.

Josephson noted, also, that the seminar offered new light to the administration on how to handle a bullying situation.

"It gave us a good baseline for having discussions with students about their behavior," he said.

He continued. "Quite frankly, we haven't had a whole lot of official incidences, but in the few minor situations that arose, this now gives us a frame of reference for handling the behavior."

Both Josephson and Jordan agree that this seminar was not an isolated event.

"We have quality teams in our high school," Josephson said. "We hope this will become a continued topic."

"We need to talk about this more than once a year," Jordan said.

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