Be nice: AP Anti-Bullying stomps out negative behavior


Photo by Caroline Harless.

The Princeton Review Prep book for AP Anti-Bullying is a top pick for those who are already starting to prepare for the exam. The book includes 6 practice tests so students are able to put their anti-bully skills to the test.

By Caroline Harless, The Better Photo Manager

AP Psychology, AP Biology, AP Government and Politics. The list goes on for the AP classes offered at WCHS. However, for years there has been one class that many students were advocating for: AP Anti-Bullying. With WCHS announcing the class will be offered in the 2022-23 school year, students are already looking forward to taking it. 

When students and administrators alike came to realize that there were no options for AP courses that dealt with bullying, a very low prevalence issue in MCPS, it was important for a much needed class to be introduced. 

“I think it’s about time a class like this was created,” WCHS sophomore Greg Jorge, who registered for AP Anti-Bullying next year, said. “I see so much bullying in the halls, but no one does anything because they are too lazy to get involved. A rigorous AP class which compels students to actively participate in bullying issues will be very popular at WCHS.”

AP Anti-Bullying also differs from other APs with how the end of the year exam is structured. For the exam, students are placed in an elaborate, staged bullying scenario where they have to handle the situation correctly using the knowledge they have obtained throughout the course. Although rumored to be “easy,” some students have already started preparing for the exam, more than a year in advance. 

“This will probably be one of the most important classes in my high school career, which is why I’ve already started studying for the exam,” Jorge said. “Implementing anti-bullying practices in my daily routine even before the course starts will really put me ahead of my peers, allowing me to get a five on the exam and guaranteeing I’ll be set for life.”

Until recently, when the AP Anti-Bullying class was announced, there had been little effort from MCPS to educate students on bullying. Bullying is an issue often overlooked and not talked about much, as most students and staff could care less about it, however this course aims to change that. 

“After receiving many complaints that there isn’t enough education on bullying, we [MCPS administrators] realized that a lot more needs to be done,” Sharron Tuffin, co-founder of the course and an MCPS administrator, said. “The School Board designed AP Anti-Bullying to teach students core skills they’ll need for their whole lives, skills that just aren’t found in other AP courses.”

Not only does AP Anti-Bullying teach students important life skills, but it also covers the history of bullying so those taking the course can really get an in-depth perspective on this plaguing problem. 

“When coming up with this class, we really wanted to ensure students left with valuable knowledge that would last them a lifetime, and information they would still remember and use 20 years later,” Tuffin said. “This means learning about major bullying events that have occurred throughout history and how they shape our lives today.”

Despite the popular demand for this course, only an estimated 0.20 percent of WCHS students registered for AP Anti-Bullying for the 2022-23 school year. However, those who did sign up are looking forward to the course this upcoming fall. 

“Some of my friends opted for AP Calculus or AP Lang, but AP Anti-Bullying is definitely more useful in the long run,” Jorge said. “I can’t wait to learn how to be an anti-bully and I’m very excited to see what the class has in store.”