West Seneca Schools Take Action Against Bullying

October 3, 2011 Updated Oct 3, 2011 at 12:48 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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October 3, 2011 Updated Oct 3, 2011 at 12:48 PM EDT

West Seneca, N.Y. (WKBW) - West Seneca Middle School is working to fight bullying and they said it starts with taking ACTION.

"Take ACTION is a program we run with our seventh and eighth grade students. The program was developed eight or nine years ago to address harassment and empower students to make good decisions," Guidance Counselor Rob Lares said.

ACTION stands for Appreciate, Communicate, Trust Intervene Own and Notify. School officials believe the program will encourage student to stop bullying before it even starts.

Students were able to interact with other students for an anti-bullying training seminar, Monday.

"I think it's a good program to have. It's just not good to bully because it bring people down when people see it around," student Abby Hosterin said.

The program encourages students to come forward and report bullying, not only to adults but fellow students that are leaders in the school. At West Middle, they have a team of eight graders that others can rely on and learn from when it comes to stopping harassment.

"I've had kids come up and ask me like 'what should I do if a bully came up and punched me' or something. I would say go to a teacher or tell the bully that he shouldn't do that because he wouldn't have want to be bullied himself," student leader Chris Jablonski said.

School officials said the most common form of bullying is on the computer but there are some big questions when it comes to cyber-bullying.

"Why don't you just block them or turned them off? To them sometimes it's turning off all their social interaction because there are other kids that they crave the friendship and that social interaction from," Lares said.

School officials, students and parents like Lisa Breidenstein agree that being proactive is one of the main solutions to the widespread problem.

"I think it helps them not only when and if they are bullied but also what to do if they are a bystander and how to react," Breidenstein said.

The school does this workshop early in the school year, every fall, to assure that all students are aware of the ways to prevent bullying and stop the torment for them or for others before it goes too far