By Reg Chapman

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (WCCO) — A local school is using a unique approach to prevent and stop bullying. Maplewood Middle School is doing something different — they are asking 30 students to be on bully patrol.

Austin is one of 30 students participating in the anti-bullying program.

“I’ve seen kids being bullied before, and I’ve seen teachers stop it,” he said. “I’ve stopped a fight from happening.”

They’re following an anti-bully program called Olweus. Under the plan, bullying is addressed not only by teachers but students. The whole goal is to empower the bystander or the people seeing the bullying take place.

“It’s a bully’s choice to stop but you can influence them,” said Brooke.

Jada agreed.

“I think it’s important because a lot of students don’t really want to listen to adults and I think it’s easier to hear it from a kid,” she said.

The students are careful when they confront a bully.

“Like if you say something the bully doesn’t like, accidentally then, you may be a new target,” Brooke said.

But most of the focused is put on the victim.

“How to stand up to people and make them feel like they’re not alone and to make sure they know someone is always there,” Jada said.

Last year the school did a survey on bullying. They found about 20 percent of the student population is bullied frequently, which is about the national average.

“It’s not OK to treat people meanly,” said Cheryl Greene, a anti-bully prevention specialist. “It’s not OK to bully anybody for any reason and everybody, regardless of who they are, deserves respect and deserves to feel safe at school.”

The study also found that some of the bullying took place right under the teacher’s nose.

“It’s shocking,” said Elizabeth Donohue. “To me anyway, especially when a teacher is in the classroom.”

Some of the leaders in the anti-bully campaign say they know exactly what victims are going through.

“I’ve been bullied once in elementary school,” Brooke said. “I think it was because I was wearing something. It made me feel bad.”

Experts say they are seeing more bullying away from school, like on the Internet and via text messages.

Three other schools in the district are also using the anti-bullying program.

Comments (12)
  1. ds says:

    “It’s not OK to treat people meanly,” said Cheryl Greene, a anti-bully prevention specialist. “It’s not OK to bully anybody for any reason and everybody, regardless of who they are, deserves respect.

    Why is making fun of people not acceptable if you’re young and called bullying, but acceptable and called comedy if you’re an adult? CBS has given David Letterman permission to bash Chris Christy over his weight. If our youth learn from adult behavior, then maybe adult behavior needs a wake up call as well!

    1. RJ says:

      I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a school to be a media watchdog or anything for bullying on tv.

      1. ds says:

        You totally missed the point! Adults bully each other all the time and yet we expect our youth not too? Where do you think the youth learn the bullying behavior? Do what I say but don’t do what I do? Yep…that’s working great!

    2. Scott Alan says:

      You are soooo right! We need to control what people say.

  2. Tycle says:

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  3. Kevin says:

    Maplewood? Bully patrol? Good Lord they need an English patrol there. They could get extra credit for every white student found…..

    1. Yeah says:

      Especially ones who can speak English.

      1. YOUR IGNORANT ^ says:

        Yeah, it IS Maplewood and Bully Patrol. And there are more white kids there than any race. And there are very few to no kids that can’t speak english. So why don’t you get your facts straight before you go shooting your mouth off. Your ignorant! Both of you.

  4. Lee says:

    I’m all for stopping any bullying in schools, but do we really need a gestapo patrolling the halls? Why are the teachers, administrators and parents having such a difficult time doing their jobs and raising decent, respectful children? All of this overhype of bullying in school lately is leading us down a slippery slope. People expressing a minority or unpopular opinion that someone else takes offense to may soon be considered bullying.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      I disagree entirely.

  5. cg34 says:

    This story was misrepresented. Maplewood does not have a “bully patrol”. Students are simply empowered to not be silent when they see bullying. They are encouraged to tell an adult and comfort the victim. Those that question why teachers are not stopping it, have no clue what goes on in schools. It is impossible for teachers to stop everything. Agreed that children model what they see. Unfortunately we aren’t seeing very good role models in the adult world!

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