Crusaders unite against bullying

Lindsey Klos ‘16

Guest Writer

You have probably heard it all before – the endless ad campaigns and mandatory school assemblies directed at ending the act of bullyingAs short-tempered kids, bullying was a lot easier and simpler for this generation than it is today. All it took was to be called a nasty name under the playground slide or to have someone take a toy out of your hands to develop a bully-victim relationship. But nowadays, different forms of bullying and abuse still take place undetected, and you might not even realize that this time you could be the tormentor.

Recently at LCN, an anti-bullying movement has been set up by Brian Manninen, tech ed teacher. The campaign was inspired by a similar campaign at Chippewa Valley called, the “Be a Hero Program”, as well as an anti- bullying PSA made by senior Jessica Scott ‘15 last year for Leadership Council. Manninen has a unique position being the teacher who runs Crusader Connection and teaches video production classes. He has recognized the opportunity to make the movement public in not only the halls of L’Anse Creuse North, but also to encourage the dispersion of friendliness and compassion into people’s everyday lives.

Manninen has not only been spreading the word to students across the school, but he has met with Principal Greg Dixon and interested teachers to make the movement official and to gain support. There will be posters made and hung up around the school to promote anti-bullying, and shirts have been sold to unify LCN students and to show everybody that they care about one another and support the movement. A November 19 episode of Crusader Connection was dedicated to the anti-bullying movement that introduced it to the student body.

Manninen said, “We want students to feel comfortable in the school and bullying has happened for years. It is kind of regarded as part of growing up now, but it doesn’t have to be – we don’t want that to be the case. So it’s not so much the message to the bullies as it is the message to the bystander. What can we do to make a difference? Even just wearing a shirt that kind of says ‘we’re here, we care’ is a great first step.”

Dixon is also supporting an app that the State of Michigan has created. The app is an anonymous tip line that allows students to report if they see bullying, and it gets sent back to the school and the school will follow up on it within the building.

Manninen stated, “We just want to encourage and give people tools like ‘How can you help?’ If somebody is being picked on, come up to them and give them some positive support; let them know that people care. It’s not to necessarily call out the bully and create a dangerous scene; we’re not asking that at all. We’re focused on what the average person and the bystander can do. We have a lot of great kids in the building that can speak up and be there to support people being picked on by others, who can invite them into a group or let them know that they’re not alone. That is the goal; we want to put a name to it, make posters, have people wear t-shirts, and just make it very visible so we have that message out there. We want students to feel good about stepping up and connecting with others so we feel as though we truly are a school community.”

“I think a lot of people will respond well, whether they have had experience with bullying or they just want to help out with the cause, especially after seeing all of our groups come together to form a bond through this. After they see this, I hope people will see that bullying isn’t tolerated and it is not something you should do,” said Scott.

If you witness bullying, report it to the state’s official tip line, “OK 2 Say”: www.mi.gov/ok2say/.