City schools to host community rally against bullying

By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,

The Police Department of the Yazoo City Municipal School District will host a community rally against bullying.

The rally will take place on Tuesday, December 11, at 6 p.m., at the McCoy Elementary School Cafeteria.

School Police Chief Cedric Brown said that the program titled "Be a Leader, Not a Loser!" is designed to target bullying and decrease its presence in the local school district.

"Bullying has become quite a problem in our local schools," he said. "We have created a bullying program that will fill the current gap between the currently approved policies and the actual implementation."

Brown said that because of the issue of bullying, they are planning to form a Yazoo City Municipal School District Bullying Committee, which would include members of local law enforcement, the campus police, at least one teacher from each school, and the bullying liaison.

As of August 31, 2018, the proposed bullying program for Yazoo City High School is meant to teach students to identify bullying and how to stand up to it safely.

The program teaches prevention by promoting awareness through community and school events, anti-bullying workshops, training for students, teachers, and parents, and also uses an anonymous system for students to report bullying incidents.

The proposed plan also includes a consequence ladder, where repeat offenders receive stronger discipline if the bullying continues.

Step 1 on the ladder begins with a warning, an explanation of the system to the student, signing an agreement form, and 30 minutes of anti-bullying activities. Step 2 includes one full day of suspension, one hour of anti-bullying activities, and signing a reform form stating that the student will not be the cause of any additional bullying episodes. Step 3 consists of three days of suspension, two hours of anti-bullying activities, and one hour of anti-bullying activities for the parents.

Brown said that under the proposed plan, failure to follow rules and consequences would result in immediate suspension, and that repeat offenders would be recommended for district hearings.

The anti-bullying rally is open to all students, teachers, and parents from all four area school systems.

For more information about the rally, please call Chief Cedric D. Brown at 662-746-2378.