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March 18, 2014

E.B. students spearhead anti-bullying campaign

“Bullying Tears Down, Friends Build Up”

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Gifted and Talented (GT) students at East Bernstadt Middle School have begun an anti-bullying campaign.

A total of 19 students are in the school’s GT program, said coordinator Bonnie Johnson.  Five students served as spokespersons for the new campaign and presented a PowerPoint presentation to the school board on Thursday. 

In their presentation, the students defined bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.”

In an informal survey of middle school students, 54 percent said they had been bullied at least once during the past month. A total of 106 surveys were completed.

As a way to bring awareness about this issue, the GT students have developed a slogan,  “Bullies Tear Down, Friends Build Up,” and asked the board to help them purchase bracelets with that same slogan for every student in the school. The bracelet, they said, would serve as a reminder that “bullying is a cruel action and we can help stop it.”

The bracelets would cost approximately $208.

“The Gifted and Talented students realize that the faculty cannot solve the problem alone; the resolution to the problem needs to be student driven,” they read.

The group plans to visit classrooms from kindergarten to eighth grade, presenting the same presentation and encouraging students to participate in a poster contest promoting the slogan.

“I don’t think we have a big bullying problem,” said Superintendent Vicki Jones.  “They (students) do feel like it is an issue we need to work on and I appreciate that they want to take it on as a campaign.”

The board is considering their proposal.

The board also recognized the Middle School and primary dance teams and coaches Jamie Vanhook and Myrtle Williams for their hard work this season and performance at the KDCO- 13th region championships.

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