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Education

March 31, 2015
 

MCSO attacks school bullying head-on

MCSO School Resource Officer Jayme DeLaRosa has only been an elementary school SRO for a year and a half, but has already taken a stand against bullying.

She wanted to carry on the original program of “Girls Night Out” for boys and girls when one of the guidance counselors left at the end of last year.

“Last year, I saw the guidance counselor do a presentation for all grade levels of girls in our school,” DeLaRosa said. “She left, and I wanted to tweak the program to include boys. I also wanted to have just fourth and fifth grade age levels so we could use age appropriate real life scenarios for role-playing. I wanted them to be able to interact between the two grade levels and be excited about learning about the subject of bullying.”

She decided to have fourth and fifth grade boys and girls meet on separate nights to give an anti-bullying presentation to the entire group. With permission slips sent home, the program was scheduled for right after school for two hours.

The evening included 50 girls the first evening and 20 boys the next meeting. The agenda included snacks, center, group leaders, video clips, skits and role-playing. Those who presented the best skit won a prize.

The goals of the lessons were for them to understand the six roles of bullying, recognize bullying situations and the steps they can take to handle them, and also to feel confident and courageous enough to stand up for themselves and others who are in a bullying situation.

The program used a video from the Web site SchoolTube, “Anti-Bullying Skit,” “Bullying Bystanders: You Can Make A Difference” and “Anti-Bullying PSA – The Price of Silence.”

Group leaders went over the videos and gave the group their own scenario which they had to practice and create a skit which they would portray each of the six bullying roles (aggressor, assistant, silent bystander, supporter and defender). Each group had to present the skit to an audience of their peers. Group leaders judged each skit and determined the winner based on their knowledge and how well they brought the skit to life.

“I wanted them to get out of their comfort zone and be able to interact with girls and boys of a different grade level, as well as girls and boys they may not have known otherwise,” DeLaRosa said.

She added that the students were surprised they were able to speak in front of a crowd and interact with students they didn’t know.

“I think when they move on from elementary school to middle school this will help them interact and feel more comfortable with each other,” she said.

“Bullying is in the national spotlight and continues to be a problem, but SROs like DeLaRosa want to hit bullying head on and are making a difference in their schools by implementing anti-bullying programs,” Sgt. Sue Pender, SRO supervisor said. “I hope that we can implement this into all elementary schools next year to make an impact on these impressionable minds.”

Montgomery County has 23 elementary schools.



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