The Louisa County Middle School held a “Steps Against Bully” walk at the stadium in The Jungle on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The students wore orange in awareness of bullying and for their stand against it. Bookmarks were handed out to students, who participated, by the Family Career Community Leaders of American (FCCLA) and STOP the Violence Team members, as they exited the track.
“Bullying poisons the educational environment and affects the learning of every child,” Dan Olweus, psychologist and creator of Olweus Bullying Prevention Program said.
According to Olweus, the definition of bullying is, “A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.”
In Olweus’ program he defines the types of bullying as:
• verbal abuse including derogatory comments and bad names.
• social exclusion or isolation.
• hitting, kicking, shoving and spitting.
• lies and false rumors.
• having money or other things taken or damaged.
• being threatened or being forced to do things.
• any hostile or offensive action against students due to skin color, cultural, religious background or ethnic orgin (racial bullying).
• a form of sexual harassment, calling names intended to hurt, offend or intimate (sexual bullying).
• use of the Internet and related technologies to harm others, in a deliberate, repeated and hostile manner (cyber bullying).
Olweus, also gives an overview of why students bully other students.
• Students who bully have strong needs for power and (negative) dominance.
• Students who bully find satisfaction in causing injury and suffering to other students.
• Students who bully are often rewarded in some way for their behavior with material or psychological rewards.
According to Gracie Quarles, Louisa County Middle School teacher and FCCLA advisor, the Stop the Violence Team will hold a school-wide poster contest on Tuesday Oct. 16 at Louisa County Middle School at 3:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. The Olweus Committee will judge the contest and STOP team members will assist. The theme for the posters is “Be a Friend, Don’t Bully.”
The STOP team will also meet after the judging to plan a skit, rap or step-to video to be broadcast school-wide this month and used to help explain the Olweus program to parents at the PTA Winter Festival.
According to Quarles, Louisa County Public Schools uses the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to bullying.
For more information on bullying, visit stopbullying.gov or violencepreventionworks.org.