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Campaign for Kindness

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(Left) Small notes reflecting how CHS students can be more positive, written by CHS students.

Clearwater High School’s Kay Club group hosted Anti-Bullying Week. Anti Bullying week is a week dedicated to bringing awareness to bullying and the prevention of bullying. Kay Club sponsors Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Ankerholz were made aware of the week by the Kansas Department of Education. The official Anti-Bullying Week was October 8-October 14. The month of October is Anti-Bullying Month, started by the PACER organization, in 2006. You can find more information on the official website here.

Kay Club Contributions

Kay Club has contributed to Anti-Bullying week by collaborating with the Art Club to create posters sending positive messages in the high school commons. “It’s a relevant cause, and I hear about bullying with my girls, ” Mrs. Spencer said, “I think it is something that should be addressed.” Along with posters, Kay Club has made students of Clearwater write what they can do to reduce bullying on slips of paper. Throughout Anti-Bullying Week, students heard reminders during daily announcements to remain respectful, thoughtful, and to speak up on bullying they may witness.

(Below) Posters that Kay Club and Art Club created in collaboration for Anti-Bullying Week.

Facts and Figures

About 1 in 5 kids in America are bullied, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Some feel that bullying is a healthy school experience, however, the opposite is true. Bullying can increase the risk of anxiety, depression, and suicide. In addition, bullying can impact sleep patterns and eating habits, according to the Center for Disease Control. Victims of bullying are more likely to participate in drug abuse. Students with disabilities report victimization at a higher rate than their peers. Victims of bullying can have negative views about themselves, even far after high school.

What can we do?

Does Clearwater have a bullying problem? “I don’t know that it necessarily is a problem… but I feel we should be nicer,” said Mrs. Spencer. What can Clearwater do to prevent bullying? “Again, it goes back to being nice to each other, not thinking just about yourself, and thinking of other people.”

If bullying is being witnessed, bystanders should intervene. Bystanders who intervene while witnessing bullying are 57% likely to stop the situation. However, bullying interventions only occur 20% of the time. Bystanders and students are usually aware of situations but are too afraid to intervene. Schools should ensure that those who intervene are protected from any backlash. An environment that encourages and rewards interventions can help this problem.

Those who are bullied should also be made aware of self-advocacy and should be made aware that they are able to take control of the situation according to PACER.

Moving forward

Has Kay Club had any positive impact on bullying? “I hope so!” said Mrs. Spencer. Change begins with the individual. If we collectively change ourselves for the better, as a whole, we can combat bullying, and assert a positive environment and community at Clearwater.

 

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Campaign for Kindness