JHS Students Raise Awareness With Anti-Bullying Club

JHS Anti-Bullying Club members. Submitted photo

“I want everyone to write a bad thing that someone has said to you on your paper heart,” said JHS sophomore Alyce Johnson to the members of the JHS Anti-Bullying Club. “Write as many as you can think of.”

Once the JHS students are finished writing their words, Alyce, who revitalized the club at JHS, asked her peers how they felt when someone said those words to them.

“I felt crushed and heartbroken,” said a student.

“Of course you would. Now, I want you to all crush up your paper hearts,” said Alyce. “Try to unfold the heart and put it back together like it was originally — in perfect condition. You can’t, right? The point of this activity is to show that once you say something to someone you can’t take it back or fix it easily. Like the paper heart is crushed, you can easily do that to someone else too with your words.”

Alyce lead an activity in the JHS Anti-Bullying Club (ABC). The JHS ABC Club meets once a week on Thursdays after school. Alyce saw a need to educate fellow students on what bullying is and how to prevent bullying at JHS and approached school administrators to get the club going again.

“We have had some issues with bullying and especially cyberbullying and I wanted to help make people aware of how hurtful bullying can be and how to help prevent bullying,” said Alyce. “We are doing activities in the club, which we then plan to take out into the school. One of our first activities was to write positive comments attached to candy canes around Christmas and handed them out. It gave us an opportunity to talk with, and meet, students that we wouldn’t normally talk to and spread the word about preventing bullying.”

Members of the JHS Anti-Bullying Club would also like to visit Jamestown middle schools to be role models and raise awareness with their younger peers. In addition, they also plan to play a supportive role in assemblies at JHS to help raise awareness.

One major project the club is working on is to institute an easy, anonymous reporting system for JHS students. Any student who feels they are being bullied or see someone being bullied can anonymously text through the Remind App (rmd.at/jhsnobully). Students can also report any bullying anonymously through texting. Club advisor Chris Tehan, who was personally chosen by student to lead this club, will look at every report that comes in and send to the appropriate person to review. In some cases, students in the Anti-Bullying Club, who are going through the Youth Leadership in Mental Health Awareness sessions, will help with the situation. If the incident is more severe, the assistant principals will be contacted. The club is starting to get the word out on the app and texting features to JHS students.

“We knew that students would want an easy way to report any potential bullying incident,” said Mr. Tehan. “The app and texting functions are just where students are communicating now – on their mobile devices. Also, many students wanted the ability to report anonymously but still feel like they are helping the situation.”

Along with the student reporting app and text, anyone in the Jamestown community can report potential bullying by going to the JPS website at www.jamestownpublicschools.org and hit the DASA (Dignity for All Students Act) to report potential bullying. The DASA coordinators at each school review all report and every potential incident is taken very seriously.