Bully Proof Campaign brings awareness in schools

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 6, 2015

The third annual Bully Proof Campaign was in full swing during October, which was declared bullying awareness month.

Volunteers involved with the campaign traveled to Goshen High School, Pike County High School and Charles Henderson Middle School to present the campaign.

“Our hope is to create awareness and educate students, teachers and families about bullying,” said Teresa Kidd, community outreach coordinator for East Central Mental Health. “It’s not just kids who get bullied. It’s everywhere.”

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The presentation focuses on how a victim should handle bullying as well as teaches students how to stand up and not be a bystander.

“I don’t think there is any cure for bullying,” Kidd said. “But we want them to know what steps to take if they are bullied, not just be a bystander. They can help report it.”

The Bully Proof Campaign also sheds light on the fact that bullies don’t start out as bullies – there is usually a reason behind it.

“They aren’t just born bullies,” Kidd said. “There is a reason why.”

Kidd explained a situation where a student said that he had to become a bully to stop being bullied himself.

The presentation also focuses on cyber bullying and suicide prevention, as the two go hand in hand.

“Almost every student raised their hand when we asked if they have ever seen or been a victim of cyber bullying,” Kidd said. “We try to let students know that they need to think before they type.”

Kidd said that the majority of students said who participated in the program didn’t have anyone they could trust to report bullying, so the presentation also targets teachers and parents, educating them in how to handle bullying, as well.

“The sad thing is that the kids know how to stop it, but they are scared to stand up,” Kidd said.

The Bully Proof Campaign holds an annual 5K run in The Square in Downtown Troy to stretch this awareness campaign into the community. The run was schedule for Nov. 7; however, due to the prediction of poor weather, the 5K has been postponed with no set date yet.

Kidd said the run will be schedule to take place at the beginning of 2016 and registration will reopen once the date is set.

Runners pay $20 if they pre-register online, and it is $25 to register on the day of the race. All the money goes toward implementing a bullying curriculum into the Pike County and Troy City public school systems to further educate students and help prevent bullying.

A Fun Run for children is also available at the 5K. Children wanting to participate can donate a book to enter the race.