Centerstone’s anti-bullying program set for high school

In the age of Facebook and websites which allow students to text classmates anonymously, bullying doesn’t end when the final bell rings.

On Wednesday, June 8 from 5 to 7 p.m., an Act Against Bullying open house, sponsored by Centerstone, will take place at the Brown County High School cafeteria.

Students and their families are invited to visit informational booths from Valle Vista, Bloomington Meadows, Centerstone and other community resources that can help families if a child is being bullied or is the bully, said Mary Roberts, Centerstone’s wraparound facilitator.

“I’m trying to raise awareness about bullying. I know that after the recent suicide (of a high school student), there was kind of a lot of panic about bullying, and I just felt like it was a good time to address the issue just so that parents can know that there are resources in the community if their child is suffering,” Roberts said.

The high school will also have a booth providing information on the district’s bullying policy as well as how to report bullying.

“It’s just to raise awareness so that people feel like there is something they can do,” Roberts said.

Rachel Bogle, a Brown County graduate, will speak about her experiences with bullying and how it affected her. Bogle is now the morning show host for RadioNOW 100.9 in Indianapolis.

From working at Centerstone, Roberts said she sees most bullying take place over the Internet or via text messaging.

“I definitely think that every kid having their own phone and being able to text each other and even just Facebook-message each other has made it an even more prevalent issue,” she said.

“Fifteen years ago, you could go home and you weren’t affected by it anymore, but now these kids get your number and there are websites where they can text you and you don’t even know who it is.

“Something you might not say to somebody’s face, you can text them and they don’t even know who it is texting,” Roberts said.

If you go

What: Act Against Bullying, sponsored by Centerstone

Where: Brown County High School cafeteria

When: Wednesday, June 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. Keynote speaker Rachel Bogle, host of the morning show for RadioNOW 100.9, will speak from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

What is bullying?

Bullying (per Indiana Code 20-33-8-0.2) means overt, unwanted, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal or written communications or images transmitted in any manner (including digitally or electronically), physical acts committed, aggression, or any other behaviors that are committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate or harm the other targeted student and create for the targeted student an objectively hostile school environment.

Source: Centerstone