School Puts a Bullseye on Bullying; Incorporates Cyber Problems

One high school is handing students the reins to help combat bullying.

The Union Ninth Grade Center launched its "Bullseye Initiative" Thursday afternoon with a DJ and lunchtime celebration. Counselors pioneered the program, which prioritizes student involvement and combating cyber-bullying.

A student panel launched a Twitter account to tweet positive messages and overshadow any negative tweets students might use to bully.

"Nowadays we don't shake kids for their lunch money. It's the mean girls and the sarcasm," said Student Council President Jennifer Conley. She said the program aims to help students realize that they might be exhibiting bully behavior.

"I've been at this school for four years and I've definitely seen a huge impact of social media in bullying," said counselor Lindsay Benson. "Kids can be bullied 24 hours a day now instead of just the time they're at school. Bullying doesn't end when you go home."

The program will also target bullying at school. There will be support groups for students and also a periodic survey, where students will be able to grade how well teachers prevent bullying in their classrooms.

Counselors said the program is meant to be preventative, in order to prevent tragedies other schools have seen. They hope other high schools in the area adopt a similar program.