Waccamaw Neck schools come together to combat bullying
More than 300 students, parents, teachers and administrators of Waccamaw Neck schools came together last week for an anti-bullying walk.
Holding signs and chanting, “Stop bullying!” the group walked around the track before the Waccamaw High School football game.
“It means a lot that we had such a good turnout for the Anti-Bully Walk, because it shows that the Waccamaw Community acknowledges bullying as a problem and that we want to band together to put a stop to it,” said organizer Ayanna Shivers, counselor/ career specialist at Waccamaw Middle School.
“The only way to combat bullying is when we are united because then bullies know that their behaviors will not be tolerated and victims realize they are surrounded by people who are willing to assist.”
Shivers paid tribute to Richard Gehrman, the founder of the first Anti-Bully Walk, and Island Signs, which donated the big banner that was used.
According to an official bullying website called bullyingstatistics.org, one out of four students in the U.S. are bullied mentally, verbally and/or physically and each day, and 160,000 students miss school for fear of being bullied.
It states further that 43 percent of students report being cyber-bullied and one in five students admit to being a bully, or doing some “bullying.”
Principals Dr. David Hammel of Waccamaw High, Jamie Curry of Waccamaw Middle, Dr. Tim Carnahan of Waccamaw Intermediate, and Vervatine Reid of Waccamaw Elementary were joined by Dr. Nathalie Hunt, headmaster of Coastal Montessori School, to recite the Anti-Bully Pledge.
To keep Waccamaw schools safe places in which to work and learn, I pledge:
• To remember that bullying or threatening someone is not acceptable, whether in person or on online.
• To refuse to participate in bullying, which includes name calling, threats and harassment
• To have the courage to stand up for others being bullied, knowing that as one person I can make a difference.
• To act responsibly when someone is being bullied, to tell someone who can help.
By Clayton Stairs
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