Franklin City Public Schools unites against bullying

Published 10:03 am Friday, October 15, 2021

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With the leadership and support of the Virginia School Boards Association, Franklin City Public Schools will be actively focusing on ways, throughout October, to identify and prevent bullying in schools, whether on the bus, in the classroom or online. 

An FCPS press release continued by noting that VSBA, in its own release, stated, “Childhood bullying is a significant problem nationwide. It can cause school absenteeism, mental and physical stress, poor school performance, poor self-esteem and, in some cases, school violence. One out of every five (20.2%) students reports being bullied, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics in 2019. This means that upward of 13 million school-aged children are bullied each year.”

The VSBA added, “Statistics show students who experience bullying are at increased risk for  depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement and dropping out of school.” 

Virginia Gov. Ralph S. Northam has issued a proclamation that October be declared Bullying Prevention Month.

The state agency calls on school board members, superintendents, teachers and parents to be  crucial participants in “creating a climate where bullying is not tolerated. It has been proven that  when adults and children stand together, bullying ends.” 

Officials in the FCPS release noted that locally, the school division was doing its part to bring awareness and potential solutions to the issue through the Anti-Bullying Symposium, which took place Wednesday, Oct. 6, via a Zoom webinar. 

Three agencies presented programs intended for all three school levels.  

For S.P. Morton Elementary School, LEVOC Family Services presented “A Bully? No! My Child Would Never …” 

For J.P. King Jr. Middle School, AGAPE Counseling & Therapeutic Services Inc. presented “Cyberbullying – Words Hurt.”

For Franklin High School, The Mahogany Projek presented “#letsbeclear: Identifying Bullying  and Ways to Cope and Stop It.”