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PECMS Kicks Off Anti-Bullying Program

Prince Edward County Middle School kicked off its bullying prevention program with a pledge walk, Taking Strides Against Bullying, Sept. 22. Susan Lawman, vice-chair of the Prince Edward County School Board, was among the many students and members of the community who signed the banner which proclaimed “Kindness Matters: We Pledge to Prevent Bullying in Our School and Community.” More than 150 people turned out to walk laps around the high school track in support of the middle school's adoption of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and to enjoy the booths and activities set up by community and school groups. The Olweus Program was designed to prevent bullying at the elementary, middle and junior high school levels. The program's results generally show a 30 to 70 percent reduction in student reports of being bullied and a significant reduction in general anti-social behavior, including vandalism, fighting, theft and truancy, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. All students in the school will participate in certain aspects of the program, including regular classroom meetings about bullying and peer relations. The program also requires the development of school-wide rules against bullying.