Anti-Bullying week creates a sense of awareness within school
Anti-Bullying Week, hosted during the week of October 13, 2014, was created to promote bullying prevention. Each day was devoted to various events that would create a more positive, supportive atmosphere within the school.
Although the week was originally proposed by the Fremont Unified School District, American High School’s ASB Leadership pitched several new ideas to help enforce the fight against bullying. One of the week’s main coordinators was senior Francesca De Las Alas, the current ASB Community Outreach Commissioner.
“This week is meant to enlighten students about the different types of bullying and the impact it has on people,” De Las Alas said. “Many people don’t realize their mean remarks and jokes are considered bullying. Because they don’t realize what they’re doing wrong, they never make an effort to fix it. One of the goals for this week is to definitely open the students’ eyes to the reality of bullying.”
This year’s events included several activities that encouraged a more supportive atmosphere, ranging from a compliment battle to a counselor panel.
“It was essentially an open forum Q&A for students’ questions about bullying, like what it’s defined as, the school’s protocol for it, what it looks like, etc.,” counselor Teri Sorensen said. “It’d be interesting to have administrators or other faces from around campus to talk about their different perspectives.”
However, while Anti-Bullying Week was well-intentioned, some students found it upsetting that the school had to devote a specific week towards bullying prevention. One student in particular, senior Sean Jossy, posted a status on Facebook stating that anti-bullying “should be something happening all the time, not one designated week of the year.”
“While I definitely appreciate Leadership’s efforts to innovate and make new activities, I think this week was definitely not a great move on their part,” Jossy said. “Having a set week to stop bullying has the connotation that bullying is less important of an issue during all the other days of the year, which it isn’t. All it’s done is make people anticipate a time when bullying will be ‘acceptable’ again.”
Unfortunately, there was a significant lack of student participation throughout the week. Although there was plenty of verbal support for the concept of Anti-Bullying, only a few engaged in the activities.
“Due to so many class Spirit Week practices and club meetings, the lunch activities were not as successful as I would have liked,” De Las Alas said.
Even so, some of the actions taken towards bullying prevention have been flooded by positive feedback. Senior Pauline Le created a video that features some students reading aloud hurtful messages posted through forms of social medias, which can be found on the EagleNationNow YouTube channel.