Local Schools Continue Efforts to End Bullying

By: Daniel Kemp Email
By: Daniel Kemp Email

The Kentucky House Education Committee unanimously approved an anti-bullying bill for schools.

It's a bill that would require school districts to design policies dealing with bullies.

We spoke with one local school that's already ahead of lawmakers.
Ian Mason is one of 26 peer mentors at Bowling Green Junior High School.

He's part of a group of students who listen to problems, and help come up with solutions.

"We're the same age and we kind of know what it's like having to go through those problems, so we can probably understand it a little bit better," Mason assured.

"They talk to us and it's just good because they can open up to someone they really trust," added Zach Imel, also a peer mentor.

It's a continuing effort to help stop bullying, an issue school counselors say is still an obstacle to overcome.

"I wish I could say it hasn't been prevalent, but it is especially in a middle school and at this particular age, bullying is a behavior or misbehavior among students," explained Janet Grider, a school counselor at BGJHS.

But a recently approved House bill would make anti-bullying policies mandatory for schools.

And Grider assures those at the school are ahead of the bill, and their policies support it.

"We are actually ahead of the game when it comes to that. The district had always had an anti-bullying policy in place, and each school enforces the district's policy and builds their own policy off the district policy," Grider said.

"I think it's important to understand how our actions and words affect other people and sometimes it's just education-- you didn't know what you did or said was going to have an impact on that person," added Linda Krutza, coordinator for the Youth Service Center at the school.

And while the Bowling Green School District continues to keep policy in place, Ian is just proud to do his part to help end bullying.

"It makes me feel good because I can help other people with their problems, besides them having to go to a principal," he said.

Janet Grider adds that students are encouraged to report any bullying to school officials, and ensure their safety if they do report.

She also stresses that bullying isn't tolerated at Bowling Green Junior High, and those found to be bullying can face immediate and sometimes serious consequences.

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