Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Anti-Bullying Programs

On Monday, Dec 5th we had the honor of hosting Mike Smith to present programs to each of our four schools and a parent program. Mr. Smith spoke about his days as a high school student in Imperial, NE and how bullying leaves long lasting scars. He presented the example of a fresh sheet of paper as what we look like before we've been bullied, then, with each negative experience we have a new 'crinkle' or scar appears. He shared that over time those scars end up looking like a completely crinkled sheet of paper. He had a student come forward and try to straighten and flatten out the crinkled sheet of paper, but despite all attempts, the paper never fully recovers from the deep creases much like the scars of bullying never leave us. He asked several adult staff if they could remember a time they were bullied in school, almost all can recall the name and incident of a time they were bullied. Those are the creases that never leave.

One of the most powerful visits came in the evening when he presented to a group of parents. Mr. Smith reminded parents that it is not the school's responsibility to stop bullying, that they are merely a partner along side the parent. That parents have the responsibility to raise their children to be productive young adults and that teaching them the harmful affects of bullying is a necessary part of that process. Specifically, social media was addressed and parents were encouraged to remember that these are privileges for children, and that they need monitored. Its was noted that a majority of cyber-bullying is done by children younger than 16 years old.

A special thanks to all of the student groups that funded Mike Smith's programs. The Chadron Middle School H.O.P.E. group and the high school FBLA and C-Club. For more information about Mike Smith and his programs, view his website and blog at www.mikesmithlive.com .