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School districts outline bullying programs

Updated: Wednesday, October 23 2013, 06:57 AM CDT
Reported by: Christina Butler

Bullying is being considered as a possible motive for the shooting at Sparks Middle School in Nevada this week. But once again, it brings up the issue of bullying.

Some schools in Central PA, like Spring Grove in York County, have programs in place to try to prevent bullying.

After officials at Spring Grove heard about the shooting in Nevada, they were ready to bring their anti-bullying programs back to the spotlight.

"We want to be preventative and once you know you want to make sure from kindergarten up there are things in place, so students know there are people here that can help them with situation. And there are ways to handle that safely," said Carrie Schmoyer, a high school Counselor.
Schmoyer is involved with bully prevention seminars from the time kids start kindergarten. There is also the SWEB program, which uses positive intervention.

The district also offers a program that links 8th graders to upper classmen to provide extra support. Two or three times a month there are class meetings at the high school, where bullying is often the topic.

Schmoyer says social media has opened up new outlets for bullies.  "You know somebody putting one thing out on Twitter and then how many people can retweet that and so with rumors that has made it much more difficult to deal with."

She encourages parents to stay involved in their students' daily lives and for students to never worry that seeking help will make them a bigger target.  "Especially at the high school level because it becomes so much more intricate and they get so much more slick at what they're able to do. We're very sensitive to how we present it because we want students to feel like they can come and it's not going to get worse."

"People don't realize how devastating that can be it can turn a students relationship like that it makes him very painful for them to come to school," Schmoyer said.  "The thing that's really important to recognize is that the person who is bullying or who has the aggression is coming from a lot of pain and a lot of hurt."
School districts outline bullying programs

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