Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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April 2, 2014

PV students say “NO” to bullying

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Bullies aren’t welcome here — that’s the message of a special program offered to students in several grades at two Pauls Valley schools.

The schools include Lee Elementary and Pauls Valley Junior High.

Over the past few years the local junior high, which houses seventh, eighth and ninth grade students, has continued to offer the program meant to crack down on bullying.

In fact, the school’s counselor, Janet Cook, says the program has become a kind of tradition at the school with the most recent version given with three large screens set up for the first ever event held with students in the junior high’s newly remodeled auditorium.

“It’s high impact with music and speakers,” Cook said.

“It has athletes and movie stars and people who can relate to young people,” she said.

“It also has other students in different situations similar to what they see in our school and they talk about it.”

The program, also offered to fourth, fifth and sixth grades students at Lee, was made possible with a $395 grant from the Pauls Valley Foundation for Academic Excellence.

Both local schools also chipped in $200 each to complete the funding and again bring the national program to PV.

Cook and others believe the program is having a big impact on bullying at the local schools.

“Students and teachers all find it to be very successful,” she said.

“The students enjoy it and get the message and we hope this carries over to their daily lives.”

For school officials the biggest problem with bullying is finding out about these types of situations. Sometimes that’s not so easy as a bad situation can at times slip through the cracks and not be revealed.

“Bullying is not as much a problem as in the past. We the faculty, principals and other staff deal with all bullying situations when we find out about them,” Cook said.

“We hear about it and tend to it.”

As for the program itself, Cook believes students are not only getting comfortable with it but getting the message about bullying as well; so much so they oftentimes police the activity themselves.

“Students are getting the message and are learning it’s not tolerated here,” she said.

“We can’t prevent it, but we can let them know it’s unacceptable.

“It’s created an atmosphere where students step up and tell other students that something is not tolerated, that we don’t do that.”

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