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Bully Prevention Program

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Bully Prevention Program
By: Wes Wallace

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Whether it's verbal insults hurled or punches thrown at a classmate, these scenes play out often on many school playgrounds.

"It's important to have this program, bullying does not stop at the school level," explained Sara Atkinson, a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Atkinson uses a training video as part of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, and hopes to implement the program in schools across Southeast Missouri.

"It's not a curriculum; it's a change agent, a program brought in to change the entire environment in the school and the community," said Atkinson.

She also says there's an effort to work with the kids caught in the middle, known as bystanders.

While it's not currently a part of Alma Schrader's anti-bully curriculum, a quick look around the elementary school and you'll see plenty of messages about character qualities.

"We are very serious about the issue of bullying here at the school," stated Julia Unnerstall, a guidance counselor at Alma Schrader.

Recently, the students created a peace ball made up of strands of yarn, helping build a framework for better behavior.

For more information about the Olweus program, you can contact the Community Counseling Center in Cape Girardeau.

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