Elkhart Community Schools hosts anti-bullying assembly

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 11:37 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - We continue our coverage on the bullying problem in Michiana.

Thursday night, Elkhart Community Schools hosted an anti-bullying assembly for parents at the Elkhart High School Freshman Division.

The corporation said it wants an effective plan to eliminate bullying within the corporation.

Administrators said they want to make schools safer and are looking for ways to improve.

They also said, “We need parents, staff, and community members to recognize, be vigilant, and to know how to intervene and report when they see bullying situations.”

“Which will help us to create strong children and help us to create a more kind and civil environment,” said Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Sarita Stevens.

The corporation said it’s now bringing in more bullying prevention liaisons and will have a parent advisory committee.

“This is more deliberate because we want to give more significant training. We want to create an environment where eyes are everywhere,” said Stevens.

The corporation said Rio Allred’s story is sparking change.

Rio, who was just 12 years old, died by suicide in March after heartbreaking claims that she was bullied at North Side Middle School.

“It did call all of us to consciousness that we need to do more...We have to impose consequences. We need parents to support us in this,” Stevens said.

And what about reporting?

“Really deliberately and intentionally focus on reporting bullying when it happens,” said Stevens.

Meantime, Marla Godette, a Mental Health Professional in Michiana, has been on the frontlines, talking with parents and students.

“I personally have several people telling me that they are bullied. That they are intimidated. The exact words, intimidated, and afraid. If they are intimidated, if they are afraid, that is far beyond a conflict. If a child takes the opportunity to cut their wrist, that is beyond a conflict...We have a young woman who is gone. We have others who are attempting to leave. And we have others who are tormented daily,” said Godette.

Stay with 16 News Now as we continue following this story.

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