Grayson to address bullying problems

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

INDEPENDENCE — Bullying in the nation’s schools has become a significant problem, and the Grayson County School System is hoping to bring awareness to the problem next month.

During its regular meeting Dec. 15, the Grayson School Board adopted a resolution recognizing January as “Bully Prevention Awareness Month.”

Grayson Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Thomas said, “this resolution is an effort to promote awareness of school bullying and encourage the use of bullying prevention activities and materials to help eliminate bullying in all of our schools.”

The resolution says school bullying has become “an increasingly significant problem in the United States and Virginia.” Nearly 30 percent of youth in the nation’s schools are estimated to be involved in bullying each year — either as a bully or as a victim.

“An estimated 160,000 student in Kindergarten through 12th grade miss school every day due to a fear of being bullied,” the resolution reads.

Dr. Thomas added that bullying can result in a negative impact on students and learning — absenteeism, poor school performance, poor self-esteem and even violence.

“Bullying can take many forms, including verbal, physical — and most recently in cyberspace — and can happen in many places, on and off school grounds,” Thomas said during the meeting. “It is important for Grayson County parents, students, teachers and school administrators to be aware of bullying, and to encourage discussion of the problem as a school community.”

The resolution notes that the school board has approved a policy on anti-bullying to encourage positive behaviors and to eliminate bullying behaviors.

The school board's resolution said it will focus on the issue in January with the intention that “bullying and its prevention be discussed in all Grayson County Public School classrooms during that time.”

The motion to adopt the resolution passed unanimously.