FMHS makes pledge to "Stamp Out Bullying"

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Whether it's physical, psychological or cyber bullying, it happens once every seven minutes, according to the National Education Association.

Students and staff at Fruita Monument High School know bullying happens, but they also know the majority of its students are against it. That's why they've dedicated this whole week in educating students how to stand up to bullies and put a stop to their destructive impact.

Anyone could be a victim, but anyone can make the choice to stand up and take a stance.

"My sister's been bullied all her life. I’ve been bullied a couple of times," Fruita Monument junior Alexis Butler said. "If more people do stand up, the more people will realize they're not going to be shut down. More people are going to look up to them."

As part of a district wide initiative, the Fruita Monument High School senate made this week "Stamp out Bullying Week" with hopes students would respond to the challenge from their peers to make bullying end.

"We’re just inviting everybody at the school to come sign their name [on the pledge wall] saying they want to stamp out bullying and make a stance," FMHS senate member Bradin Ball said.

Students say it’s one thing to receive the anti-bullying message from teachers, but it can be more influential coming from peers.

"A lot of kids look at their teachers telling them stuff as like them nagging or nitpicking at certain things, but when other peers are doing it, they feel like it's more relatable," FMHS senate member Eden Laase said.

Bullying is nothing new in schools, in fact, the National Education Association reported one in three students reports being bullied weekly.

"We would be remiss if we believed there was no bullying taking place," FMHS assistant principal Todd McClaskey said.

Administration says bullying can affect students in different ways whether it’s avoidance of school, depression or sadness. Students see it, and the majority of them are against it and they're willing to work to change the environment at their school.

"Most of the kids in the school have signed [the pledge wall]," Ball said.

"We just want to show students that Fruita is a safe and positive environment," Laase added.

It could start with one person standing up to a bully, but that's all these students need to set off a chain reaction.

"I believe one person can make a difference by just standing up to somebody," Butler said.

After signing the stamp out bullying wall, students were given a blue wristband with the message “Stamp Out Bullying, Take A Stance” on it to wear for the week. Students are asked to keep them on until the pep assembly on Friday to wrap up the anti-bullying effort.

FMHS also has a link on the school website where students can anonymously report the bullying they see.

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