October is Bullying Prevention Month
Bullying is sometimes very obvious – a big kid pushing a smaller kid around – but much more subtle forms of bullying can be just as harmful, says Prairie du Sac guidance counselor Anne Uphoff.
“It could be leaving someone out on purpose,” Uphoff says in a Sauk Prairie Eagle article. “It could be where someone is really nice to you one-on-one, but in a crowd as a bystander they might not do anything. We try to get them to realize how that might look to the other child.”
Uphoff, who is a WEAC Region 5 member and a guidance counselor at Bridges Elementary School in Prairie du Sac, works with students from 4K through second grade. She says kids who are trained to stand up for someone can help reduce a bully’s power.
“Bystanders have the power to turn something around by walking away,” Uphoff said. “The more bystanders who stay, the bully is getting that attention. For so many years we have just focused on the bully, whereas now we are working with bystanders in order to get it to stop.”
Also interviewed for the story is WEAC Region 5 member Tim Belleau, a guidance counselor at Portage High School, who notes that state law now requires school districts to have a bullying prevention policy in place. Also, Julie Ennis, principal at Spring Hill Middle School in Wisconsin Dells and a former member of the Adams Friendship Area Education Association, says her school is trying to help foster relationships among the students.
“We hope through more understanding they might treat one another differently,” Ennis says.
Read the entire article in the Sauk Prairie Eagle:
No matter where a person is from, there are bullies and victims of bullying. Over the past decade, with teen suicide rates resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, communities have taken notice. The attitude of “boys will be boys” or “they’re just being kids” is fading.