Chesterfield schools work to prevent bullying - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Chesterfield schools work to prevent bullying

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Inside Spring Run Elementary there are dozens of heroes.  Young students are putting a stop to bullying one act of kindness at a time.

10-year old Alex Lyons doesn't shy away from the camera, and he doesn't back down from bullies-even on the school bus.

"The person that was bullying was teasing the kid and it was over and over again, I think like every day," said Alex Lyons. "I told him to stop and I told the target to come sit with me."

Alex then took the situation a step further.

Alex Lyons: "I told the bus driver about it." 
Melissa Correa: "You weren't afraid to say stop?"
Alex Lyons: "Uh-uh." 
Melissa Correa: "Why not?"
Alex Lyons: "Because I have a 5th grader as a friend and I'm as tall as him."

But Alex is just a 3rd grader who's been featured on the wall of heroes twice now.

"HERO stands for Help Encourage Respect for Others," said school counselor Terri Shepherd.

The program is meant to prevent bullying. Over the last few years, bullying has been on the decline in Chesterfield, however more than 300 incidents were reported in 2008.

"The bus, the cafeteria, and the playground were the areas that we have the most bullying," said Shepherd. "Students who are walking by themselves with their head hanging down, their shoulders hunched over tend to be targeted."

Students are taught to tell a bully to stop, get the victim out of the situation or report the incident.  Kids like Alex, that go above and beyond, are nominated to receive special recognition.

"I'm looking around for everything that I can do. Because I love helping people," Alex said.

This is the first year for the HERO program and with so much success already, Ms. Shepherd believes bullying at Spring Run Elementary could soon be a thing of the past.

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