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Anti-bullying initiative gets mixed reviews

Students+reenact+bully+mentality+at+Breaking+Down+the+Walls+assembly.
Students reenact bully mentality at Breaking Down the Walls assembly.

Students reenact bully mentality at Breaking Down the Walls assembly.

Patrick Foley

Patrick Foley

Students reenact bully mentality at Breaking Down the Walls assembly.

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Breaking Down the Walls, REEL World Central, Character Counts, Peer Leadership, Happy Club, and Rachel’s Challenge came together to promote anti-bullying for Anti-Bullying Week. But according to students around school, the week was ineffective.

“I knew about it because I’m in one of the clubs that is promoting it, but I don’t think it’s that effective because people don’t know. One of my friends, who I was with when they were passing [the ‘Be Nice’ stickers] out on the first day, just thought it was to promote a club,” said Caroline Oakum, a junior and a member of the REEL World Central club.

The activities taking place this week were passing out “Be Nice” stickers and Hershey kisses in the mornings, a Breaking Down the Walls video during all gym periods on Wednesday, and Mix-It-Up-Day on Thursday.

“I think that the people involved in Anti-Bullying Week are really passionate about it and really excited, but it’s not very known. There are posters up but I think there should’ve been more advertising,” said Ryann Chioda, a junior and a leader in Breaking Down the Walls.

According to Rebecca Quinn, junior, there were also complaints about certain qualities in the Breaking Down the Walls anti-bullying video.

“I’m not sure it’s all that effective sometimes; I don’t think people pay attention [to it] because of convenience, and they don’t want to get out of their shells,” Quinn said.

Some students were confused as to why members of the club decided to make up stories about students being bullied instead of using their own stories or more “realistic” ones.

However, others believe that the video was successful. “I don’t necessarily agree that the video was unrealistic. I can see that we didn’t use real stories, but we did a really good job taking situations that we’ve heard from people and putting that into a video. I don’t want to say that people are ignorant, but I feel that people jumped to conclusions about it,” Chioda said.

The members of the clubs involved in Anti-Bullying Week do understand that the week did have its faults, and they believe that it needs to be improved upon.

“I don’t think we do enough activities to end bullying, I think they just say it’s Anti-Bullying Week and expect people to act differently,” Oakum said.

Chioda, who will continue to participate in Breaking Down the Walls, plans to change some of the aspects of Anti-Bullying Week so that it will be more effective next year.

“I think that next year we’ll definitely advertise it more, and get more people involved so it’s not just the anti-bullying clubs that are doing it,” Chioda said.

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Anti-bullying initiative gets mixed reviews