ErinElizabeth Purcell – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying is an issue that effects most people at one time or another.
An LRHS sophomore who wished to remain anonymous said “I believe that the best way to prevent bullying is to try to compliment at least three people a day so no matter what negativity comes their way they have at least heard one nice thing, and that can change your whole mood.”
LRHS chorus teacher Giselle Panagiotakis explains that students should strive for positivity in and outside the classroom. “In my chorus classes we ‘throw roses’ to each other, basically giving compliments so that everyone can feel safe in this room and around each other.”, Panagiotakis said.
Compliments and positivity seem to be an excellent way to prevent bullying but stopping bullies at the source is not always possible. Sometimes the solution lies with kindness to others, even if you don’t know them.
LRHS school counselor Tracy Jordan said it is common for people to be afraid of social interaction outside their friend groups for fear of rejection or it generally being awkward.
LRHS mom Josie Grau reminded students of a recent anti-bullying program at the school.
“Just like the students learned from the guest speakers at ‘Sandy Hook Promise’ we need to be kind to one another, and it starts with saying “hello” one friend can make all the difference in a person’s life,” she said.
Bullying can lead far beyond simple teasing; it can also bring physical aggression towards the victim and that can lead to many mental health problems for the victim. This can include things like eating disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression, which can be a gateway to self-harm or suicide.
School officials urge anyone being bullied to talk to a teacher or school counselor immediately.