Riverside Middle School implements new program to stop bullying

Riverside Middle School implements new program to stop bullying

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - One Columbia County school is leading the effort to stand up to bullying. Riverside Middle School was recently recognized as a Champion against bullying by Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center.

The school recently implemented a "School Ambassador" program. Ambassador Allison Baharned explained how they are group of students that stand up for others, and make sure every student feels comfortable with their surroundings. Baharned said they are on a mission to make their school bullying free.

"It happens more than you think it would. One reason while it happens a lot is because they won't really realize that they're doing it," Baharned said.

Bullying is not tolerated in schools all across the country, but somehow we still hear more and more horror stories. That's why FOX 54 is launching a new "2 Strong 4 Bullies" segment, highlighting efforts in the CSRA to stop bullying.

"The Eagle ambassadors, how I think of it is we're kind of like the parents. We're just kind of like the leaders, and we represent the school," Baharned said.

Because of efforts like this, only about 2 cases of serious bullying are reported each year at Riverside Middle School. This past October during anti-bullying week, student ambassadors handed out these wristbands to everyone on campus saying "Stand up, Speak Out."

Andrew Tyson, one of the school's counselors, said the wristbands were used to encourage students to discuss bullying.

"Early on, we go through and we teach students the different types of bullying, how it occurs, what to do in case they see bullying, and the different interventions we can do," Tyson explained.

Cyberbullying is a big issue these days, and student's ambassador Etta Thomas strongly suggests parents monitor their child's social media use.

"Sometimes they say stuff that they know they wouldn't have the nerve to say to your face, and it's sometimes really bad," Thomas said.

These Ambassadors know the best thing to do if they see cyberbullying is report it to a parent or school counselor.

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