GRAFTON, Mass. — Before the days of the Internet and smartphones, a bully was someone who stole your lunch or picked a fight in the schoolyard. Today, anyone can be a bully and it is easier than ever to be a victim or an aggressor.
October is Bullying Awareness and Prevention Month. There will be a seminar for parents and children at the North Street Elementary School on Thursday, October 25 at 6:30 p.m.
More than 33 percent of students who are bullied report it happening in classrooms, according to research from the National Center for Education Statistics. And, as more children and teens have easy access to the Internet with computer tablets and smartphones, the impulse to reach out and hurt someone is great.
“It’s easy for anyone to bully,” said Maureen Cimoch, the high school’s advisor for the local Student’s Against Destructive Decisions. “All they have to do is go on their iPad, send a message, then go to lunch.”
Statistics from the 2008–2009 School Crime Supplement show that an adult was notified in only about a third of bullying cases. Often, children feel isolated, humiliated, or fear retaliation or peer group rejection, thus making education critical.
Thursday night’s meeting will help students and adults understand what defines bullying (cyber or otherwise), how to stay safe, how new technology and social media contributes to bullying, and sensitivity training.
Student’s at the North School are participating in month long events to strengthen their understanding of the consequences. There will be a presentation by District Attorney Joe Early Junior’s office, student led workshops and presentations, “Daily Words Of Wisdom”, spirit weeks and participation in the national “Mix It Up At Lunch Program”.
For additional information contact Frank Sutton at North Street Elementary School at firstname.lastname@example.org.