Bullying Prevention Program Comes to HCPS

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Harrisonburg City Public Schools prepare for the start of a new school year with a bullying prevention program.

The school district applied for a grant last year to create a bullying prevention program in the elementary schools and now, the school has extended the program to both middle and high schools.

This new program defines bullying as "aggressive behavior that is intentional and that involves an imbalance of power." According to Olweus, a recent study shows one in five students have been bullied.

Bullying can come in many forms such as cyberbullying. Teachers and leaders with Harrisonburg schools say bullying happens a lot more than you would think, and it can be hard to distinguish the difference between messing around and bullying another person.

Teachers hope using the new program will help better identify bullying and how to handle situations when it happens.

"As a classroom teacher, you don't know whether it's the difference between friends who are just joking and teasing one another, or whether they're actually crossing that line and they become taunting their friend," said Mallory Cromer, a high school teacher.

Teachers will go through training for two days to identify bullying

The school says their goal is to have the bully prevention program put in place at all eight Harrisonburg City Public Schools by the end of the year.

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