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Bullying Prevention Month at Academy of the Canyons

Academy of the Canyons raises awareness to Bullying Prevention Month in October to make school a safer place for students to thrive.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/shaunthomas18/" target="_self">Shaun Thomas</a>

Shaun Thomas

October 31, 2022
Since 2006, October has been nationally recognized as National Bullying Prevention Month. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has already established that bullying has devastating effects on children from increased anxiety to an overall loss of self-esteem. It’s no secret bullying has negative effects on students, so I decided to take a look at what my school, Academy of the Canyons (AOC), does during Bullying Prevention Month. 

This year, Academy of the Canyons sophomores, Nia Konstantinova and Harleen Ranu, started their first-ever anti-bullying club called Project ReTHINK. Konstantinova, one of the club’s co-presidents, described ReTHINK as an “initiative led by students to combat bullying to come up with ideas on how AOC can come together and stop the aggravation seen in text messages and school in general.” 

This month, ReTHINK has provided anti-bullying resources in classrooms throughout the four weeks of October. They’ve gone into classrooms and have passed out brochures and conducted small activities. The highlight for this month was having a spirit day where students wore orange clothing on Wednesday, October 20th, to commemorate Unity Day, an important part of the anti-bullying campaign to promote kindness.  

I also had the chance to interview AOC’s social counselor, Ms. Alex. She says bullying isn’t really a big issue that she deals with as bullying hasn’t really been a common issue at AOC. She says that there have been three experiences through the last two years where she has been assigned to debrief the situations. 

However, she also says that it is important to note that bullying goes unnoticed. Ms. Alex adds that more needs to be done to tackle the unnoticed bullying if AOC fosters a culture of embracing the golden rule and the concept of kindness.   

For the future, Project ReTHINK and the social wellness team at AOC, which includes Ms. Alex, hope to set a precedent and aim for zero cases of bullying in the years to come. Although it’s only ReTHINK’s first year, Ranu says that they plan to expand bigger and become a district-wide club that includes a programming project, volunteer opportunities and visiting local elementary schools to “get their message across to younger audiences.”