E. Allegheny Logan says 'no' to bullying
With a noisy Wednesday assembly, East Allegheny's Logan Middle School kicked off its 2012-13 anti-bullying program.
“We take bullying very seriously at Logan,” seventh- and eighth-grade principal Raymond Morton said. “Every student in this building has the right to come to school without being bullied.”
It is the second year for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in the East Allegheny district.
The school honored finalists in each of its five grades in a slogan contest. Sixth-grader Paige Yusko had the winner:
“Be strong. Be proud. Be you. Because no one knows you better.”
That slogan will appear on a T-shirt. The other finalists are:
• Fourth-grader Autumn Christner, “Bullying is not PAWSitive,” a reference to the Wildcats, mascots for all East Allegheny teams.
• Fifth-grader Emma Frank, “If you get bullied, even on the bleachers, tell an adult and your teachers.”
• Seventh-grader Jessica Stevenson, “Look at this face ... the bullying stops here!”
• Eighth-grader Kayla Henshawe, “If it's not nice, think twice.”
Last year, Logan students kicked off the Olweus program with a rally at Churchman Stadium, walking down the hill from the middle school to the district football field.
This year, fewer students had to exert themselves. The five slogan finalists took on faculty members in an obstacle course set up in the gymnasium.
Kayla had the best time, a minute and 18 seconds, but everyone came in under two minutes.
Members of a school committee dealing with bullying addressed the assembly, some with the help of posters displayed by students. Teacher Deniece Lenart laid out the rules:
• “We will not bully others.”
• “We will help students who are being bullied.”
• “We will include students who are being left out.”
• “If you know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult, at home and at school.”
“We want other students to stand up strong and stand against bullying,” Morton said. He detailed a long list of what constitutes bullying, including harassment, making fun of others, picking on others and name calling.
“Treat others as you want to be treated,” Morton urged.
If a student knows about bullying, teacher Kelly Woleslagle said, “You can tell someone at home, but you also have to tell someone at school.”
Some T-shirts worn by faculty and staff detailed an email address to report such incidents, email@example.com.
Morton predicted that bullying will continue. “We still have students who want to engage in bullying,” he said.
“If you choose to bully you will be disciplined,” guidance counselor Cheryl Ihnat said.
A student caught in a bullying incident gets three days of detention to start, as well as a “think-about-it” project and a conference with a counselor.
“With each additional offense you will have out-of-school suspension,” Ihnat said. The number of days increases with each incident.
Also on the committee are Morton, grade 4-6 principal Sean Gildea, school nurse Beverly Burgess and teachers Stephanie Lyman, Janine Montgomery and Maria Zarod.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967 or firstname.lastname@example.org.