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Letters to the Editor

Anti-bullying program works

| Monday, Oct. 3, 2005

In the article "Schools work to confront bullying" (Sept. 6 and TribLIVE.com), the Trib reports the success by the Hempfield Area School District in regard to the decline of reported bullying after implementing the research-based Olweus Bullying Prevention Program just three years ago.

Not mentioned in the article is that by preventing instances of bullying, Hempfield also is preventing future crime.

Recent studies show that bullies are much more likely than other kids to carry a weapon to school. And one study showed four out of every 10 boys who bullied others as kids had three or more criminal convictions by the time they turned 24.

This is why I and the other 200 members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Pennsylvania -- a nonprofit, bipartisan organization of police chiefs, sheriffs, district attorneys and victims of violence -- applaud school districts, like Hempfield, that have implemented bullying-prevention programs such as the Olweus program.

The research is clear: Investing in programs proven to keep kids from ever becoming bullies or victims of bullies will make us all safer from crime and violence.

Chris Scherer
Greensburg

The writer is sheriff of Westmoreland County.

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