“Students are standing up for themselves more and not with their fists,” said Stephanie Hoover, seventh-grade English teacher. “They are talking about it (bullying).”
Sixth-grade counselor Jennifer Johnson voiced similar observations.
“It’s empowering the bystanders,” Johnson said. “They are making more reports (about bullying incidents), as well.”
Both seventh-grader Maria Rangel and sixth-grader Kyanna Bontrager described a bully the same way.
“A bully doesn’t care how other people feel. A bully thinks they are cool,” Maria said.
“No, a bully isn’t cool and they aren’t happy with themselves,” Kyanna said.
Having a blue pinky has helped seventh-grader Cassandra Lopez with her self-esteem.
“I feel like I fit in and I can talk about it with my friends,” Cassandra said.
A group of girls stood together with their blue pinkies held high.
“It’s a pinky promise. It’s a good idea,” said seventh-grader Karla Rodriguez. “I look at it everyday and it reminds me.”
Desmarais-Morse said she tries to make the distinction between bullying and conflict with the school body. A lot of times situations are called bullying that are actually conflict or a disagreement, she added.
“We need to better educate our kids what the difference is between them,” the counselor said.