Our Opinion: Keep our students safe from bullies

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 4, 2005

On Thursday, motivational speaker Stephen Brubaker took a powerful message to students at John Yeates Middle School.

The program, &uot;Stephen and other dummies,&uot; was part of the school division’s &uot;No Bullies Allowed&uot; week.

Brubaker noted that on a given day in our country some 180,000 students likely stay home from school because of bullying they’ve experienced on school grounds. Bullying, while no means new to school halls, has become an epidemic for many students who cannot concentrate on getting an education for fearing the next move of their tormenters.

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Suffolk Public Schools and school divisions nationwide should be commended for their proactive measures to address bullying. As Brubaker said, it not only has immediate adverse effects on students, but lifelong ramifications.

Bullying has become too commonplace at schools. It’s believed that bullying has much to do with the offenders’ deeply-rooted issues. But students deserve the peace of mind of knowing that they can get an education without facing fear on a daily basis.

School administrators should continue to foster an environment that assures victims that bullying is not tolerated, and will be handled promptly. &uot;No Bullies Allowed&uot; sends a clear message in Suffolk that such acts will not be accepted to any extent.

Bullies should get the message. If they refuse, they shouldn’t be welcomed at school, particularly considering that their major quest is to interfere with other students’ ability to get an education.

We hope programs like &uot;No Bullies Allowed&uot; will continually be echoed throughout Suffolk schools and other school divisions. It’s programs like this that will keep victims from regretting they came to school today.