THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Schools: Students organize march against bullying
By Roger Greene
Students from the four Waccamaw Neck public schools will take an active part in helping to eliminate bullying next weekend.
The Waccamaw Middle School student council has organized STOMP Out Bullying. It will begin April 28 at 11 a.m. with a walk from the school. A family fun event will follow, including refreshments, face painting, a dunk tank and music, as well as information related to the problem of bullying in schools.
A series of events this year at the Waccamaw schools and around the district have focused attention on bullying. At the middle school, students met in small groups for discussions about the problem.
“It takes a lot of collaboration and cooperation to bring an event like this together,” said Richard Gehrman, the student council advisor at Waccamaw Middle. “Bullying is a problem that we all must work together to solve. We have to create an environment where it won’t be tolerated.”
The STOMP Out Bullying program has been trademarked by Love Our Children USA, a nonprofit organization that has been dedicated to curbing violence against children for more than a decade.
Blake Graham, a senior at Waccamaw High, serves as one of group’s teen ambassadors.
Graham has worked alongside the middle school student council to help organize the anti-bullying activities, and the event has also drawn support from the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, Midway Fire and Rescue, local PTAs and students and parents from all four Waccamaw schools.
“It’s good that [the event] is taking place at the middle school,” Graham said. “That is the level, along with later in elementary school, where bullying tends to start. We need to educate students in those age groups on what bullying is. The sooner they are able to recognize it, the sooner they will be able to put an end to the problem.”
Participating students are asked to wear a school spirit shirt to represent their school and will receive a wristband to show their support for the anti-bullying effort. The event is not sponsored by staff, so students from the elementary, intermediate and middle schools must be accompanied by an adult.