October is National Bullying Prevention Month and local school administrators say everyone, from students to teachers to parents, play a role in bullying prevention.
Local area schools are using this month to sharpen students skills when it comes to taking a stand against bullying.
“When you sit down and you look at bullying, really what we’re talking about are kids going through trauma,” said Nikie Bone, school counselor.
Bone said bullying can come in different forms like emotional, physical or social.
“Some students when they deal with trauma, they become victims,” said Bone. “Some students when they deal with trauma they act out and become bullies.”
While statistics show there is noticeably more bullying in middle school than in high school, students in Bonneville County said that’s not the case at their school.
“I haven’t seen a lot of it. Usually whenever there’s a kid that’s getting picked on, there’s always another kid sitting next to them that says it’s not cool. There’s always someone to stand up for them.”
Administrators say student-run programs and a strict zero-tolerance policy keep the bullies at bay.
“The kids have the opportunity to correct their behavior and if that doesn’t happen, then it can absolutely enter the criminal realm where law enforcement needs to get involved,” said Andrew Mortimer, school resource officer.
Counselors said that’s rarely the case at Rocky Mountain Middle School. They said students there are pretty proactive.
“If you think about it, you know adults that get away with bullying. It’s widespread, it’s not just kids,” said Bone. “We feel like we’re giving these kids a gift if they can learn how to handle things more appropriately.”
According to statistics, as many as 160,000 students stay home from school on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied.
For more information and resources, visit http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/