8/29/2014

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Local & Regional

Bullying: 'Often times I see more things online'

Bullying: 'Often times I see more things online'

COOS BAY, Ore. -- October is national Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and a local high school is doing their part to help curb the problem.

Doug Miles is a counselor at Marshfield High School.  He says that bullying has grown away from just shoving someone in the hallway. "Technology has added a whole new element that's really, really tough to deal with," Miles said.

Student Body President Ashley Barbian agrees. "Often times I see more things online and in social media sites, you don't really see that contact, physical contact bullying anymore," she said.

Faculty members say cyber-bullying is bad because of it's long lasting effects.

This is due, they say, to the fact that the words often don't just disappear. "It's one thing to say something to a kid because it ends pretty fast, but when you put it in writing and it's out there, then anyone can see it and it's anonymous, kids get really courageous," Miles said.

Miles says cyber bullies are often unaware of the effect their comments have on the victim. "I think that's the key, just making them aware of how hurtful things can be," said Miles.

Marshfield High School is taking steps to help raise that awareness.

One program, which they started last fall, was getting students to accept 'Rachel's Challenge.'

Megan Free, an advisor for Rachel's Challenge at MHS, says the concept is fairly simple. "It's just encouraging others to be kind to each other, dreaming big and saying kind words, and starting a chain reaction of kindness here within our high school and in our community," Free said.

Accepting Rachel's Challenge means joining the mission toward universal acceptance at Marshfield.

"The less bullying occurs when more people are involved and everyone gets to know each other better," said Barbian.
 

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