Gainesville schools add program to stop bullying

By Christopher Curry
Gainesville, Florida — Students at Fort Clarke Middle School witnessed an impromptu lunchtime concert Thursday, as teacher John Young got on stage and, to the tune of blues classic “Stormy Monday,” started singing, “We will not bully others, and we will help those that are bullied.”

A few minutes later, students came up on stage to perform an anti-bullying rap. Besides the musical performances and videotaped skits, seventh-graders witnessed as teachers, dressed in hippy-era tie-dye shirts, staged a sit-in against bullying.

The mood was light but the purpose was serious: combating bullying on school campuses.

This year, Fort Clarke and Newberry Elementary School have received grants to provide training and materials for the implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, named for a Norwegian psychologist who spent years researching school bullying.

Candice Noble, guidance counselor at Fort Clarke, said the program is intended to create a “schoolwide culture” where teachers and staff are more prepared to spot and deal with subtle acts of bullying and where student bystanders no longer tolerate it. Full story.


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