October is Bullying Prevention Month
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and schools here in Helena have programs in place to address the issue. Beartooth NBC spoke to folks at Helena Middle School on their anti-bullying efforts.
When it comes to bullying, teachers and administrators at Helena Middle School encourage students to use the stop, walk and talk technique.
Helena Middle School Principal Josh McKay says, “A child removes themselves from the situation, they use location as a tool to help and then they would work with an adult that would help them resolve the conflict. And we teach kids both, I guess you would say the bullied person and the bully and bystander to all use that as a tool.”
As part of the Montana Behavioral Initiative, teachers urge students to be respectful to others.
Helena Middle School P.E. Teacher, Aaron Sieminski: “Be safe, be respectful, be responsible, be a learner. A lot of the problems that would happen if we didn't have those four little blurbs, might get a lot bigger than they do.”
The school also adopted the Bully-Free Montana program last summer.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Denise Juneau: “And what that policy basically needs to say at each school district is here's the definition of bullying, here's the definition of cyber bullying and then say, these are the procedures for people to address it if they feel they're being bullied at school.”
McKay says bullying isn't a big problem at Helena Middle School, but still encourages students to speak up if they see it.
“A lot of times kids think that if they report it that nothing will be done or that the bullying will get worse but our experience really is when you work with a situation and the child, you can have a positive, I guess impact or result.”
Sieminski: “Go to someone you trust, it could be anyone, the cafeteria lady, the principal, the P.E. teacher, anyone you trust because there is help out there and you need to trust that someone has your back.”
Story by Luba Solonenko, Beartooth NBC.
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