Students reach out with new bullying initiative

By Allison Srour, Features Editor

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Posters decorate halls and classrooms, light blue bands cover people’s wrists and advertisements play on the Daily Dose.

Stemming from Gandhi’s famous quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Be the Change (BTC) is a new campaign created by leaders at CHS, including Principal Joan Benz, assistant principal Doreen Brandes, SGA sponsor Scott Selman, SGA officers, and art teacher Paul Dermont. 

According to Brandes, the purpose of this program is to raise awareness of the consequences of bullying and teach the CHS community tolerance and acceptance. 

“The goal is to get our students to think a little bit more and learn that everyone’s different,” Selman said.  

According to Selman, the CHS anti-bullying campaign began about three years ago when students came to faculty complaining about the current bully situation and wanting to make a change. 

“Another goal is to put [control] back into student’s hands and make them a catalyst for change,” Selman said.

Various anti-bullying videos will be made throughout the upcoming school year, similar to the teaser video played on the first day of school.

“The goal with the video was to put a face with the movement— class officers, sports captains— the people that everyone looks up to at school,” Selman said.  “If we can get students to be the leading force behind this, then maybe we can get the climate to change at CHS.” 

The anti-bullying campaign has produced mixed results among the school community.

Math teacher Alvin Figer has noticed less bullying in his classes, which he partially attributes to the campaign at CHS. 

“I feel that Be the Change is a good way to get the message out there to CHS students that bullying is 100 percent unacceptable and unnecessary,” senior Nikki Jordan said.  “The campaign is necessary to spread awareness of different kinds of bullying and how you may not even know you’re bullying someone.”

However, not all students agree.  Many feel that bullying is not a serious issue at CHS and that the administration should focus more on other issues.

“I really don’t think Be the Change is necessary,” senior Rishi Patel said.  “I feel like bullying isn’t really bad at all at CHS.”  

Additionally, some students feel that the BTC program is negatively affecting CHS.

“Churchill puts way too much emphasis on the very minor issue of bullying in this school,” senior Andy Pejman said.  “I know bullying may be a major problem in many schools but in Churchill there is little to no bullying and [the] media relentlessly pesters us students on this topic.  It is unknown how many students are emotionally upset from this.” 

Either way, the administration is working with teachers and students to make a change in the school.  According to Selman, a major start to this was through the wristbands distributed to students the first week of school.

“People may laugh at them or choose not to wear them,” Selman said.  “ But if it is one more way to connect with one more student, then it is worth it.”