Underclassmen girls educated on bullying, harmful effects

Meg Kirchner, Reporter

In order to combat bullying among the freshman and sophomore girls, members of the faculty organized an assembly on Oct. 21. “We decided to gather our younger girls, the population in our school we deemed most vulnerable, to talk about the problem,” Principal Paul Barker said in an Oct. 22 blog.

Guidance counselor Carol Heflin-Shupe, and teachers Tess Gauthier and Stephanie Maychack facilitated the assembly.  Gauthier said the assembly was called because “[JC] felt that the problem was to the point where it needed to be addressed.”

“We don’t break out subgroups for assemblies very often, so the fact that we brought together one fourth of the school population aroused some curiosity,” Barker said in his post.

The assembly was not called for disciplinary reasons.  “The intention of the assembly was to educate,” Gauthier said.

At the assembly, two video clips were shown, a power point was presented, and juniors Miranda Ripken and Erica Bodt spoke about their experience with bullying.

“They talked about the ‘causes of bullying,’ showed us the trailer for “Mean Girls” and a news clip about a girl who committed suicide because of bullying,”  sophomore Mary Yankovich said.

Maychack told the students that they have a chance to affect people’s lives in a positive way.

Guidance counselor Larry Hensley said that most bullying happens “under the radar,” a kind of bullying that no one sees or hears about.

“Recent national headlines, however, have reminded us that when the mean stuff persists unchecked, the consequences can be devastating,” Barker said in his post.

According to freshman Emily Goheen, people will often use the internet to bully others.  “They call you names and stuff like that,” Goheen said. Still, Goheen was not sure why the meeting was called.

“They never came out and said it was a bullying problem, but we all had our suspicions,” sophomore Brianna Glase said.

Gauthier said that the student’s reaction seemed good.  “I wanted them to look at things from a new perspective,” Gauthier said.

Meg Kirchner can be reached for comment at [email protected].