Nearly 90 new Rockwood anti-bullying ambassadors from all six middle schools came together for a day of leadership training and collaboration Sept. 23.
Their message is simple: Recognize bullying, stop it and describe it.
“All of us are trying to send the same message,” said LaSalle Springs seventh-grade student Justin Thurman. “We need to have an open mind.”
During the training, students acquired the language and skills to become ambassadors. They participated in role-playing activities and created “call-to-action” lists. The next step is to raise awareness in their Rockwood schools to gain support and help spread the word.
“We learned how to stop bullying and what to do if we see it happening,” said Rockwood Valley seventh-grade student Ella Scerba. “I think this will be really helpful for us when we take what we learned back to our school.”
Dr. Terry Harris, executive director student services, and Dawnette Wiskur, coordinator professional learning, facilitated the session.
“I think we have a group of young people who are natural leaders,” said Harris. “We want them to recognize our framework and to create action steps.”
LaSalle Springs teacher Sarah Harashe was one of several Rockwood staff members who supported the students at the training.
“The best way for kids to learn kindness is through their peers,” said Harashe. “This is the easiest and most effective way for them to spread the message and hopefully prevent bullying.”
The program was established last year when nearly 60 eighth-grade student ambassadors took the lead.