KYHS at DCS
March 21, 2012By Brian Berry of Yoncalla High School
YHS Peer Power Presents Anti-Bullying Assembly
The Yoncalla High School Peer Power group held an anti-bullying assembly for its students. The goal of the assembly was to raise awareness of the pitfalls involved in the use of hurtful language. Bullying can happen anywhere, face to face, text messaging or on the web. It’s hard to know as a student or an adult where the line should be drawn. “Bullying must stop and we here at YHS are taking a stand against it,” said Principal Brian Berry.
Intensified by the reach of the Internet, bullying has spun out of control. In a recent research article published by Rutgers University bullying is the cause of 160,000 children per day staying away from school because they are afraid of being bullied. Also, last year alone 14 students committed suicide because of being bullied by others.
Words such as gay, fat, ugly or are words used throughout schools and society each and every day. These words are also responsible for students feeling like they don’t belong. The YHS Peer Power group is out to change that paradigm. Hannah Coburn, a freshman at Yoncalla High School states, “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It is a shame that people feel like they have the right to judge someone else.” Ariel Buxton said, “the assembly was powerful. There is no reason to be bullied. I know what it feels like, it makes you want to cry.”
The assembly was well received by the students at YHS. “We have been working with students to change the culture at the high school as far as the words that you use. It started with Taryn Lowes campaign to get rid of the “R” word in the school and it has morphed into a school wide campaign to do the right thing by treating people with respect,” said Berry. The bullying referrals at YHS have substantially decreased over the past 4 years and students are beginning to notice. Jen Caudill, a senior at YHS says, “I moved here in the middle of my freshman year and students are working together to make a change. People don’t tease me about my weight or about being depressed, they just accept that I have feelings and I am a nice person. I have gone from being bullied, to being alone, to being accepted. And let me tell you, being accepted feels good! YHS is the best place I have been to as far as people accepting me for who I am.”
The Peer Power presentation was assembled by advisor Brett Andry. “The plan is to take the assembly to the middle school and begin to change the words that are used by middle school students,” states Andry. “We want this to be a life changing experience for all students K-12 and from my interactions with our Peer Power group, the middle school is where a lot of this begins.”
If you would like to see the assembly, tune into www.ihigh.com/yhseagles.