Anti-bullying campaign empowering Loveland students
Loveland City Schools Human Resources Assistant Superintendent Keith Koehne, left, and Superintendent Chad Hilliker wear their “Be an Upstander” shirts from My Voice, My Choice’s anti-bullying campagin to empower bystanders. (Photo: Heather Higdon).
Loveland City Schools’ counseling department is working to make a culture of acceptance and caring in the district.
Loveland High School Counselor Jamie Gordon and School Nurse Judy Leamy presented about the district’s anti-bully program, My Voice, My Choice at a Loveland School Board meeting.
My Voice, My Choice is meant to supplement the district’s iCare program, which deals with how to treat others in the classroom and how the staff can be role models, Leamy said.
Gordon said this year’s theme for the program is “Be an Upstander.” The program is working to empower bystanders and teaching them to stand up for others.
“My Voice, My Choice is empowering the bystanders to stand up to bullying and making good choices,” Leamy said.
She added the group behind My Voice, My Choice has been wanting to focus on bystanders since the program started four years ago.
“We have worked with the victims, we have worked with the bullies. But, we felt like we could make a huge difference if we empowered the bystander to stand up for anyone who is being a victim of bullying,” Leamy said.
Students who have been “upstanders” have been honored at basketball and football games and teachers in the program have been selecting students who will be featured in a video made by Chief Information Officer Heather Higdon.
Gordon said My Voice, My Choice is working on having a tolerance fair to further education students and the community.
The department has also been expanding Loveland Adult Mentor Program, or LAMP. The district has been working with Loveland Area Chamber of Commerce Director CeeCee Collins to bring in professional adults from the community to mentor students at the high school.
“Right now it exists only at the high school, but I would love to see it go beyond,” Gordon said.
Gordon said the students are pulled out of class for 45 minutes during the school day to have a mentoring session with their mentors.
“The kids need support in many different ways and if we can provide that for them their academic success is going to improve, along with their graduation rate and audience,” Gordon said.
Superintendent Chad Hilliker thanked Gordon and Leamy for finding a way to help Loveland students beyond their academic achievements.
“There is nothing more than our students and making sure that not only do they do well academically, but also doing well socially with each other,” Hilliker said.