Teacher says Rocky Grove anti-bullying club making its mark

Most high schools have a program or club that promotes kindness and anti-bullying, and Rocky Grove High School is no exception.

Leann Highfield, advisor of the school’s anti-bullying club, said she isn’t sure when the club was implemented, but “it’s my 16th year here at Rocky Grove, and I think it was here when I first started.”

Highfield also mentioned she has been the advisor for about five years.

“We try to do different activities and encourage the kids to be leaders and stand up when they see something going on,” said Highfield, who is also the school’s physical education teacher.

Highfield said the club, which fosters about 15 to 20 students each school year, tries to meet once a month and the kids will brainstorm ideas among themselves “that would encourage kindness across the board.”

A topic that was discussed in the club’s October meeting is placing a mural of orange hands somewhere in the school. The mural would feature handprints of the school’s students who pledge to not be bullies and to stand up against bullying.

If the project goes through, there would be a pledge on the mural that says something similar to “We promise to stand up to bullying.”

But such activities that urge students to spread kindness aren’t confined to the high school as the club is also encouraging younger students to get involved as well.

Highfield said club members will take a field trip to Valley Grove Elementary School from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2, to educate the younger students.

She said she expects there will be elementary teachers who will comment about the good influence the high school students are projecting onto the younger students following the presentation.

“We did 100 days of kindness that was implemented by another teacher,” Highfield added about the activities the club has hosted.

Highfield said 100 days of kindness focused on a certain daily kindness tip to promote kindness among students.

“I think it was the district taking a stand and they want to put it in place to show that we don’t stand for (bullying) and we have students who will not stand for bullying,” Highfield said about how the club originated.

She also said the club’s existence has made a difference in the school.

“It helps when we have kids that are pretty active in the club and it truly means something to them and to see them physically make that stand and speak up…that’s super rewarding,” Highfield said.

Students who want to join the club are required to sign a contract that states they promise to not engage in bullying and stand against it as well as being a good role model to other students in the way they conduct themselves.


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