Middle schools work to bullyproof

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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Last week’s events at Rocklin middle schools were an attempt to bully proof the schools. While Spring View and Granite Oaks middle schools may not be completely free from bully behavior, staff knows now that students are aware of the warning signs, types of bullying and what to do when they recognize the behavior. Granite Oaks seventh-graders Naomi Whitecotton and Rajdeep Gill said neither have seen bullying at their school, but had while in elementary school, mostly verbally through name calling. Following Friday’s assembly on bullying, Gill said she now knows what to do when she detects it. “I’m not just going to stand there, I’m going to tell someone,” she said. Rosemary Elston, the seventh-grade counselor at Granite Oaks, said frequent bullying typically increases between grades sixth through eighth. “This is our attempt to really prevent this type of behavior on campus,” Elston said. Dave Stewart, the assistant principal at Granite Oaks, gave students a glimpse into behavior that can be characterized as bullying. “A lot of times bullying starts with simple name calling,” he said. In addition to verbal bullying, such as name calling, Stewart said there are three other types of bullying – cyber, physical and sexual. With cell phones, text messages and social networks like Facebook, Stewart said it’s becoming more common to see cyber bullying. Rocklin Police School Resource Officer Jay Newton gave students a briefing on the legal ramifications to bullying. The most important thing, when bullied or witnessing the behavior, is to tell someone, he said. Elston said she and eighth-grade counselor Linda Marcarian are available as a resource for students to provide a safe and supportive environment. Both counselors said they have an open-door policy for students who have issues with bullies.