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News from the Superintendent: October 19, 2010
October 19, 2010
When I was in school, my friends and I knew who the bullies were and we knew what they were up to. The best thing to do was always fly under the radar and stay out of their way. Even if you managed to avoid this, you’re probably familiar with the stereotype of the big, mean kid who shook down other kids for their lunch money.
It’s a little harder to fly under the radar these days, and the things bullies do are a lot worse. The game is the same, but the way it is played has changed.
Today I would like to point out a valuable new resource in the battle against bullying. The APS Health & Wellness Department recently launched a new website loaded with information for students and parents about bullying, suicide and drug abuse prevention and positive activities for youth. You’re probably aware of it because local media has really jumped on the story and helped spread the word.
You can find the site at http://www.abqsafeschools.org/.
As part of its Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative, APS Health & Wellness got together with a web designer and got feedback from a group of students to put together a pretty amazing site that is organized, colorful and will soon have interactive elements. It’s expected that students will use this and perhaps find answers if they’re not comfortable talking to a parent or teacher.
We know that bullies can do a lot more damage now with the help of technology. What used to be a more or less private transaction between bully and victim can now be aired around the world, literally with the touch of a button. It doesn’t take long to ruin a reputation, and we’ve seen recent national news stories about how tragic such incidents can turn. Tragedy strikes because victims feel like they’re all alone.
The new website can do two things: show victims how many resources are out there where they can find support; and provide a list of activities that bullies can plug into that are a lot more constructive than what they’re doing now.
I would like to thank Lynn Pedraza, May Sagbakken and Brooke Tafoya of APS Health & Wellness for their work on this project, and encourage you to direct students and parents to this wonderful resource.
Have a great week.