“I tremble and shake looking like a fool, as I walk into my school.
Walking in, I’m not surprised to see, they are there, waiting for me.
As they point and laugh, I put my head down in shame,
Sick and tired of playing this game.
Every day is a battle, never to be won.
But to them, they think it is ok and fun.
As they go on I try not to cry, it hurts the most when they tell me to go die.
They try and hurt me inside in ways I can’t explain, seeing how long I can bear the pain.
I go home and lay in my bed, as horrible thoughts run through my head.
Nobody deserves to be treated this way, especially not each and every day.”
– Eighth Grade Student
This is an excerpt from a poem written by a student at Hillsboro Middle School. It was submitted for the first annual Highland County Bully Prevention Week, which was March 7-11. The focus of this week was to identify what bullying was and to learn ways to deal with negative situations in a positive way.
All Highland County Schools had the option to participate. Four of the five local schools joined FRS Counseling Inc. and the Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board to promote this weeklong event.
Students, teachers, principals and administration participated in dress up days, assemblies, class activities, and a contest with prizes donated by area businesses and organizations. Prizes included tickets to Star Cinemas, passes to Speed of Light Laser Tag, Highland Lanes bowling, The Beach Water Park, Kings Island, Scene 75, Cincinnati Zoo, COSI, and the Highland County YMCA. Students also won a variety of gift cards to places including: W and W Dry Cleaners, Maine Street Salon, Kroger, KFC, Ponderosa, Dakota’s Roadhouse, Cowaburger, Saucy Sisters, Alley 21, Greenfield Subway and Dairy Queen, Linda’s Embroidery/Back of the Shop T-Shirts. Other organizations that donated and made the week possible include: Jerry Haag Motors, Paint Valley ADAMH Board, Southern Hills Community Bank and FRS Counseling.
To win the prizes, students were given the option to create a poem, song or drawing including the slogan, “Stand Up. Speak Out. Stop Bulling.” Between the four schools, roughly 900 entries were submitted and each school had a very difficult time picking three top winners.
Bright Locals three winners included Sierra Hoop (1st), Hailey Monteith (2nd) and Karlie Taylor/Sydney Scott (3rd).
Greenfield winners were Emily McVay, Olivia Peck and Shaylee Bew.
Fairfield winners were Brianna Morris (1st), Haven Woods (2nd), and Breanah Cartwright (3rd).
Hillsboro winners were Ashley Chaney (1st), Keeley Schurman (2nd), and Lucy Hart (3rd).
From the winners a Highland County overall prize was given to Ashley Chaney of the Hillsboro schools. Chaney’s design will be used to make T-shirts. Each of the participating schools will receive 30 T-shirts to give to select students.
The local schools were very receptive to the Bullying Prevention Week to raise awareness, educate and hopefully prevent bullying in the future. Pictures of students and staff were posted on social media and posters were hung in the halls. Thank you to the local businesses who donated and to the students and staff who participated. It was an amazing thing to see Highland County Schools and local business come together to support a powerful message, to: Stand Up. Speak Out. Stop Bullying.
Submitted by Hannah Allard, FRS School prevention specialist.