Central New York

Anti-bullying awareness month is alive in Syracuse schools

By Jacqueline Mundry SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — October is probably best known for breast cancer awareness, but there are many things to be aware of this month. Including, National Bullying Prevention month.

The high school students at Bishop Ludden are working to teach their middle school peers about the harmfulness of bullying. They’re doing so by using interactive games and activities and by asking the hard questions like, “have you ever been bullied?” Or, “have you ever been a bully?”

Some of these high school students have been harshly bullied themselves and want to be sure that younger students don’t have to go through what they did.

Emma Diamond, a Bishop Ludden junior, was bullied so badly that she had to transfer schools.

“I can share my experience with others and help them understand that, they’re not alone,” Diamond said.

Right now, the Anti-Bullying Club (ABC) only has two members because the others graduated last year. Diamond, along with Zoe Fortin, are in the process of recruiting other club members, but in the meantime, they are spreading the word to do their part to end bullying.

They are doing activities like the line activity, where they ask students if they’ve ever experienced bullying and if so they step towards the line. They are also crafting, making things like posters and paper chains and are reaching out to other Syracuse area schools where they go and teach the students about bullying as well as confidence.

The posters have mean names on them down the side but across they turn them into nice words.

“These posters for example, turning a negative word into a series of positive words,” Fortin said.

The club started four years ago when students in Kristen Borell’s class were learning about bullying.

“We read an article about bullying and some of the seventh graders and the high school kids, they just were really empathetic and they wanted to know what they could do to get started,” Borell said.

Bullying is a huge problem in the United States and with the rise in technology, it is only increasing. According to the National Bullying Prevention Center, one in four students is bullied at school.

Many students that are bullied aren’t comfortable telling anyone about it which can lead to bigger problems, like depression and suicide. Schools with anti-bullying programs like those at Bishop Ludden see a decrease nationwide of 25%.