|San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added - November 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
Anti-bullying program presented to students
San Jacinto News- Times
COLDSPRING -- “It’s your job to connect,” said one student in a video that was part of a larger, anti-bullying program presented recently to Lincoln Junior High and Coldspring- Oakhurst High School students. She said students connecting with each other would prevent violent ends by hands of an alienated few, as experienced in recent years in the nation’s schools. Professional fi lmmaker, J.C. Pohl, presented the program, called Teen Truth. The purpose of the video was to air teenage perceptions and truths as to why they bully and how it affects them to be bullied. Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated Independent School District recruited Pohl to kickoff “Bully Education and Prevention Month,” as designated by Superintendent LaTonya Goffney. She asked all campus principals to develop age-appropriate bully education and prevention programs to be implemented throughout November. Goffney said, “The goal is to teach students how to recognize bullying and to teach solutions. Whether the student is the victim or the bully, they need to understand what it is, how to overcome it, and where to seek help.” Students who believe they are the object of bullying are encouraged to tell a teacher, counselor, or principal. “We want to work with the student and the student’s parents to help the child understand the difference between being assertive and being aggressive. Students can learn to assert themselves without being aggressive.” Goffney added, however, that the defi nition of bullying is critical to an appropriate understanding and response. For all grade levels, COCISD Student Handbooks defi ne bullying as occurring “when a student or group of students directs written or verbal expressions or physical conduct against another student and the behavior results in: • harm to the student or the student’s property, • places a student in fear of physical harm or of damage to the student’s property, • or is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment.” The District’s Student Code of Conduct states that the “board of trustees or the board’s designee” determines application of the term “bullying”. Goffney explains, “Campus administrators and teachers watch student demeanor daily. “There is a difference between someone having a bad day and saying things they shouldn’t,” she said, “and someone who consistently and intentionally insults, threatens, and intimidates another person.” At a glance, COCISD Bully Education and Prevention activities include a variety of programs – many presented by students. James Street Elementary seconds graders will present a puppet show for their younger peers. JSE teachers will also perform a skit modeling bully behaviors and responses. All Coldspring Intermediate School students will actively participate as they “build a wall of words with words that build walls.” They will also participate in “I Believe,” an interactive survey of student perceptions and attitudes. LJH student groups – such as the student council - will present bully education and prevention programs at the campus Morning Celebration. At COHS, Health Occupations Students of America will conduct several empathy-training exercises. Finally, students in the Discipline Alternative Education Program will write skits and role-plays on the subject. Parents are invited to all programs. Please check with the campus as to dates and times as well as additional events.