At White Pines this past year, we had two anti-bullying assemblies. One was given by an adult speaker about "taking a stand" against bullying. Students did not take it very seriously because it’s not “cool” to say you are bullied or to be a suck-up and go with what the adult speaker said.
The other assembly was done by the high school Student Senate, but also didn’t seem serious because they were role-playing, which made bullying seem laughable.
However, the main reason bullying didn’t decrease after the assemblies was the lack of action taken against bullying by teachers and parapros. Teachers and parapros punish bullying only if the bully is reported; this labels the reporter as a weakling, tattle-tail and a suck-up.
Also, if the bully has more witnesses (friends) than the person reporting the bullying incident, it can backfire. I see kids tripped in classrooms, shoved out of lunch tables, hit in the face with basketballs and snapped with rubber bands — all in front of teachers or parapros' eyes. They just turn away and give someone a talking to for the small stuff, like being too loud in the hallway or tossing garbage into trash from far away.
In order to stop bullying, we need adults to take action.
— Thomas Stock, Lakeshore Middle School eighth-grader