Stopping Bullying Message to Elementary Students

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Fourth and fifth graders at Parkview Elementary School spent part of their Friday learning all about the causes, and effects, of bullying in school.

This age group is particularly important, according to experts, because bullying can be at its worst once kids enter middle school.

"Statistics show that it usually starts in upper elementary and in middle school; it's more of an issue," said Donna Partridge, guidance counselor at Parkview. "And so we figured if we started earlier with targeting 4th and 5th graders before they get to middle school, then maybe it would prevent some of it."

The assembly was organized by Weems Community Mental Health Center. Faculty at Parkview say they've noticed a decrease in the amount of bullying at the school since experts began coming in to educate students a few years ago.

"They understand far more than we think they do, because they are living it every day," said Dr. Susan Carmichael, therapist at Weems. "And so you talk to them differently. But you would be amazed at how much they are aware of because it is their life, every single day."

Carmichael says that bullying can bring a climate of fear into a school, and she wants students to be able to recognize when it is happening so they can be proactive and put a stop to it.

"What I want to do is get the kids to identify the different roles and get them to identify which role they are," said Carmichael. "We then break it down and look at the bully and the victim and the bystander and look at why each one is playing that role and what we can do to change it."

Carmichael says that cooperation from schools is also key to putting an end to bullying. The faculty at Parkview agrees Partridge says she hears positive feedback from students in the hallways as well.