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Students Lead Mobridge Anti-Bullying Efforts

November 29, 2012, 5:24 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Students Lead Mobridge Anti-Bullying Efforts
MOBRIDGE, SD -

As schools across KELOLAND have been working on anti-bullying policies, Mobridge students have started a program of their own.

In fact, Mobridge administration is saying students are teaching adults.

The elementary, middle and high schools are all taking steps to combat bullying. The goal was to see students take ownership. But administrators didn't think they would to the degree they have so quickly.

In the Mobridge Middle School, you can see posters that fight back against bullying and you can hear kids doing the same.

"I'm just hoping that bullying would stop for sure instead of like stop and then start up again," 8th grader Taylor Nunamaker said.

Some Mobridge classes started incorporating anti-bullying lessons into curriculum. In a middle school language arts classroom, students have been learning about different types of bullying and then teaching others.

They've worked on anything from presentations to posters. But those were assignments. From there, students made the anti-bullying campaign their own.

The middle school watched the bully movie that came out recently and learned about an anti-bullying club.

"I thought, ‘well, bullying is happening here so might as well make a bully club here’ so we could stop it, you know," Nunamaker said.

And that's what they did, with 25 plus kids attending each meeting.

"It means a lot to them because they get to talk about the issues that they see that maybe the teachers don't see all the time," middle school teacher Erin Dale said.

Teachers and administrators are using the meetings as a resource too. Principal Joe Lenz says he bounces numerous ideas off the group of students when they meet.

"They're the ones that are out there. They're the ones who are experiencing it," Lenz said.

As leader of the club, Nunamaker doesn't just want to see bullying stop. He wants the bullied to know people care.

"I think that would be nice for them,” Nunamaker said, “make them feel special and stuff."

The school took surveys to learn where bullying frequently takes place. It's looking at ways to target those spots to combat bullying as well.

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