2014-10-23

The City Year Providence team at the Roger Williams Middle School wears orange, the official anti-bullying color.

City Year Providence Leads Bullying Prevention Initiative

Did you know that every day about 160,000 teens skip school because of bullying? Or that only about 30 percent of students who are bullied notify adults that it’s happening? During the month of October, City Year Providence Corps Members at the Roger Williams Middle School are sharing important facts like this over the intercom when students arrive at school in the morning and while they prepare to leave for the day.

October is National Bullying Prevention month, and this year the principal at Roger Williams Middle School asked the City Year Hasbro team to take the lead on creating school-wide awareness about bullying through daily announcements. City Year Team Leader, Madeleine Army, said the school’s principal asked that these messages come from Corps Members because of the bonds they’ve developed with students. “Because Corps Members work so closely with students, our principal felt they'd really take what we’re saying to heart, and that the messages would be more impactful,” says Army.

The announcements also include quotes about the importance of kindness, like these two from well-known spiritual leaders: 

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” 

-Dalai Lama

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." 

-Mother Theresa

Madeleine Army served her first year with City Year Philadelphia where she witnessed countless cases of bullying in school. In fact, research shows that 70.4 percent of school staff have witnessed bullying. “It’s such a tumultuous time for students. They’re going through physical and emotional changes, there’s so much vulnerability and insecurity,” says Army. She adds that a lot of bullying tends to take place not in the classroom, but in the hallways or lunchroom, or before and after school. Because of that, her team is especially focused on circulating among students during these transitional times to foster a safe and friendly tone.

“We all want to stop any type of violence or aggression in our school,” says Army. “We want students to have a safe place to learn and to feel supported in by their teachers and by City Year.”As the month comes to an end, the City Year Hasbro team is planning on handing the microphone over to students, and having them deliver the bullying prevention announcements during the last week of October. Army says students listen to each other more than anyone else. “For them to be able to reach one another, to urge one another to create a safer school climate, that’s what we all want in the long run.”

To learn more about bullying prevention visit: www.stopbulling.gov.

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