Bullying is a serious problem at schools across the country. It can cause kids physical and mental harm; that’s why Noble Middle School is dedicating this week to preventing bullying in the classroom.
Seventh grader Alex Barnhill knows what it’s like to be bullied. “They started pulling my arms back like that and it really hurt, and then they started name-calling. They ripped my bag, a few weeks ago, they ripped the arms off, and I didn’t tell a parent or an adult because I was scared. And i started to cry, that one time, I had been holding it in for so long, I started to cry. And they tried to say I won’t do it again, I won’t do it again, and I said I don’t believe you.”
Every year around this time, Noble Middle School has Noble Against Bullying Week. Students watch educational videos and participate in class discussions to teach them the importance of standing up and speaking out against bullying.
“Our job as educators isn’t just to teach reading, writing, arithmetic, we’re teaching these kids how to be good people, good citizens,” said seventh grade teacher Lissa Dowcett.
Students say the most common places they see bullying is places where teachers aren’t around, like on the school bus.
“We hope that our students will learn that it’s really important to speak out against bullying, we want everyone to come to school and feel safe and feel like people are going to be treated with respect,” said counselor Amanda Royster.
Alex Barnhill says she finally stopped getting bullied when a friend spoke up. She wishes something had been done sooner. “I know somebody had told, because I know the person, and I’m really thankful for that person.”
Many other schools also dedicate a week to bullying education and prevention. They do so during National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week, which takes place in October.