As bullying becomes more serious a concern in schools throughout America, Thunder Bay Jr. High is creating ways for teens to stand up against bullying.
Unity Day, October 25th originated to communicate bullying awareness.
Assistant Principal, Jean Kowalski and the staff at Thunder Bay Jr. High are working on new projects to educate teens.
“What we do is we use PBIS which is ‘Positive Behavior Intervention and Support,’ and through that we want to educate kids what exactly bullying is, and what bullying isn’t. We want to make sure that they know what resources they have available to them if they feel like they feel like they are being bullied or if there are kids that feel like they are accused of being bullied. So the process that we go through is if something is being reported to us we talk with a student, we have a screener that we go through, and one of the screeners is, ‘are you being bullied?’ It’s a step–by–step questionnaire that we use with the student that gives them ideas of what bullying is, and the other one is ‘are you a bully,” Kowalski said.
Principal Kowalski said bullying could impact how a student learns.
“It affects if a child wants to come to school, it affects their self esteem, it affects their grades, and it affects so many things,” Kowalski said.
According to principal Kowalski, bullying is a repetitive offense.
“Through this process we follow up with them in a week or so and continue to follow through with this throughout the school year,” Kowalski explained.
This year the teachers will be sporting orange shirts so students know that teachers are there for them if they need to talk.
“We have orange t–shirts, and on the shirts it says ‘but first be kind, stand up against bullying. We just want the students to realize that we’re all here for them; they can come and talk to anybody, any adult in this building if they need help, and that’s our way of showing unity and throughout the year staff will be wearing those t–shirts,” Kowalski revealed.