Yorktown High School
Bullying Survivor
Male | Yorktown, IN   United States
YHS student challenged to end bullying
Bullying Type: Physical / Emotional
Posted By: 3rdDim
8/02/13 2:25 AM
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YORKTOWN — Yorktown High School students have something to say about bullying.

Students in the 2011-2012 health classes at Yorktown High School received an extra opportunity to learn about bullying.

Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani and Dr. Denise Seabert of Ball State University and Watasha Griffins of A Better Way implemented a bullying awareness and prevention program at the school to help educate students about the consequences of bullying.

Yorktown was chosen for the study over other local high schools because the school was more open to allowing the new material in their classroom. “We have the ability to be responsive to those kinds of requests,” said YHS Principal Kelly Wittman.

“Yorktown was one of the first schools willing to interact with us and one of the first successful relationships were able to make,” said Seabert. She added that other schools could have different curriculum requirements that don’t allow time for these types of programs.

The program was funded through a $3,500 grant from the Indiana Coalition to Improve Child and Adolescent Health. YHS students in health classes were given surveys on their knowledge about bullying, made posters to show what they learned and challenged to create a public service announcement for the school to hear.

“I think it’s easy to sit down and say bullying is a nationwide issue, but once you know that, you have to think about the next step on how to reduce and prevent it,” said Khubchandani.

According to Khubchandani, students were challenged to make posters with slogans and PSAs to help keep them engaged during the learning process. “It’s not easy to change someone’s behavior by educating them. So, we decided to let the students lead the project here,” he said.

Students came up with slogans like, “Don’t be cruel, just to be cool.” The posters were put up in hallways and the PSAs were read during announcements.

“The posters were very empowering and encouraging,” said Wittman. She said that the school staff tries to make the students feel safe at the school. “We want them to feel like everybody has a place here at Yorktown and we make sure all students feel connected and engaged,” she said.

Students were also lectured about bullying cases that led to suicide in Indiana. Khubchandani said that students seemed to find it surprising that someone their age would commit suicide. “Most of them were shocked that this happened in our state,” he said.

Khubchandani, who has a background in studies involving dating abuse in teens, said that the shocked response was expected. “When it (bullying) gets physical or sexual or something like suicide happens, it really shocks the students,” he said.

The students also discussed other consequences of bullying, including jail time. “We are hoping that anyone who was thinking of bullying will now be scared,” said Khubchandani.

Students were also told how they can report bullying to officials in and outside of the school. Khubchandani said that students were given names of websites that they could report bullying to.

Results from the survey portion of the study are still pending. Khubchandani said he is looking into funding to do more of these programs in other schools if they are interested.

Khubchandani hopes that students involved in the program will take what they’ve learned with them. “Some of them will choose not to be bystanders anymore,” he said “Some will refuse to be silent anymore and some will stop bullying.”


http://www.thestarpress.com/article/20130801/YOURTOWNS01/308010034/bullying?gcheck=1&



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Comments
Posted By: WEakNsTrong | 8/02/13 11:56 AM
Sounds like an excellent program - I hope they really emphasize all the past suicides that were all due to
cyber-bullying.
Posted By: SpiritNTheSky | 8/05/13 10:10 AM
Most programs I've seen simply go over bullying. I think this program is excellent because they show the actual result of what happens, or could happen, if and when they bully others. Great idea.
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