Archived Story

Buchanan students stopping bullies

Published 12:38pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

 

Sophomore Haley Smith and senior Abby Parris address the Jan. 18 Perc Breakfast in Buchanan High School cafeteria about a new student-led anti-bullying campaign, “Mean Stinks.”

 

BUCHANAN — When Bucks unite, they get “herd.”

That belief drives the student-led “Mean Stinks” anti-bullying campaign.

Buchanan High School’s Do Something Club and Student Council hope to bring awareness to bullying. It’s easy to know when you are being bullied, but sometimes less clear when you are the bully.

Mean Stinks intends to educate, bringing forth understanding of responsibility and accountability.

As outlined at January’s Perc Breakfast in the BHS cafeteria Friday, anyone wearing a $7 “Don’t be a Bully, be a Buck” T-shirt will be admitted free to the girls basketball game on Jan. 29 and the boys basketball game on Jan. 31.

The week of Jan. 28-Feb. 1, all Buchanan schools will ask students to stand strong and swear off bullying, to have each other’s backs and to not allow “mean to show its stinkin’ face.”

The odor-oriented campaign is expanded to both sexes from one sponsored for girls by a deodorant maker, Procter and Gamble.

“It moved forward into the elementary schools and is becoming part of the middle school as well because bullying affects everywhere,” senior Abby Parris said. “One interesting statistic I found is that, according to the National Education Association, there are 160,000 children bullied every day at school for a 15-percent absenteeism rate. Studies show both victims and their bullies are at risk for lower grades and poor attitudes about school. Students spend a good half of their lives in school. If we are able to make it apparent in elementary school this is not a good thing, we can help. I know it all won’t go away, but most of it will be taken care of by the time they get to high school, and they will be more respected and will act better toward each other.”

Students will make daily announcements at the high school promoting facts about bullying. Besides T-shirts, there are wristbands for — what else? — a buck.

All money raised will be directed to an account to sustain the program.

“Creating a positive environment for Buchanan students to work and play is a constant concern,” Principal Sharon Steinke said. “Mean Stinks activities encourage students to Gang Up for Good by uniting to end bullying. Special thanks to the Michigan Gateway Foundation, Honor Credit Union and D&R Sports for their support. We hope this is going to be an annual K-12 event.”

Guidance counselor Sonia Barlow and Cindy Soltys, at-risk interventionist, guide the Do Something Club.

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