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Heritage students learn about bullying
EAST CENTRAL -- Students and staff on the Heritage Middle School campus in East Central Independent School District are observing the second annual Bullying Awareness Week through Oct. 7.
Because childhood bullying is a significant problem nationwide, Bullying Awareness Week is an opportunity for students and staff at Heritage Middle School to revisit what bullying is, who it affects, and what can be done to work together to effectively lessen bullying on the Heritage campus and within the Heritage school community.
Each day this week, students are viewing or attending several carefully planned videos or activities designed to bring awareness to the issue of bullying and present strategies students can use to deal with the situation. Monday’s topic “Bullying: How do we recognize it and what should we do about it?” was in conjunction with the national message that bullying exists and we all need to recognize the signs.
Tuesday during first period, students viewed a special question-and-answer video with campus police Officer Embry. Students on campus were asked to create a list of questions that they felt were important and needed to be answered.
On Wednesday, students will revisit the on-campus HERO program during first period and make a pledge to do their part in erasing bullying from the campus environment. HERO is an acronym for “Here Everyone Respects Others,” and is the logo for our Bullying Awareness Week T-shirt that all students are encouraged to wear on Wednesdays during the school year. Students will receive wristbands that bear the HERO slogan, which they can wear all year to show their support of this program, and bookmarks that were provided from the PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center that encourage students to become involved in solving this national crisis.
Thursday, students will view an award-winning video during eighth period that deals with a popular middle school student and his personal journey as a bully to a person who is being bullied. Students will be offered an opportunity to ask questions about the video and to share their thoughts and ideas about the content of the film.
Friday will be guest speaker day. During the 9 a.m. assembly, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus will be the lead speaker, sharing with seventh- and eighth-grade students and staff the issues and consequences of bullying within the community.
East Central Superintendent Gary Patterson and East Central High School Principal Roland Toscano are also scheduled to speak on the topic.
During the week, students will create banners that will be placed in the cafetorium that support the Bullying Awareness slogan: “Stop the Madness, Let’s be Friends.” The week will wrap up with a school-sponsored dance from 3:30-5 p.m. in the cafetorium for the students following the theme of the banners; videos of on-campus activities throughout the week will be shown during the dance.
After a full week of talking, sharing, and learning about a very serious topic, students will have the opportunity to have some fun and end the week in a positive way. The goal at Heritage Middle School is to keep the conversations going throughout the school year, and in time, decrease the problem of bullying on our campus.
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