Madison Tomlinson said Muskogee has a proud tradition of working to prevent bullying.
Gov. Mary Fallin declared Sept. 30 through Oct. 6 as the third “Oklahoma Bullying Prevention Awareness Week.”
Tomlinson, Muskogee High School’s director of character development, said Muskogee Public Schools originally pushed former Gov. Brad Henry to help them stamp out bullying.
“He declared the first one for us,” Tomlinson said. “And then Gov. Fallin did it last year. We actually just received the proclamation from her about this year’s today.
“It was Muskogee Public Schools that pushed for the proclamation in the first place. Hopefully, in the future, we won’t have to request it each year.”
Tomlinson said there would be two assemblies Monday to kick off the weeklong focus on bullying prevention.
A representative from Stand For The Silent, an anti-bullying organization started in 2010 by Oklahoma State University students, will talk to students during an all-school assembly at Alice Robertson Junior High School at 9 a.m. Monday.
Another assembly, this one open to the public, will also be at Alice Robertson Junior High, starting at 6:45 p.m.
“The focus on the event is bullying prevention,” Tomlinson said. “Thankfully, there’s more attention paid to bullying now and how to prevent it. It’s something that happens to a lot of kids that we don’t even know about, and it’s something we need to help stop.”
Stand for the Silent’s program addresses school bullying by showing students the effect that type of behavior can have. OSU students began the program after hearing the story of Kirk and Laura Smalley, whose 11-year-old son committed suicide after being bullied at school.
Fallin’s proclamation warns that bullying in school can often lead to other violent behavior as the child grows up.
“It’s a serious problem that we’re doing our best to stop,” Tomlinson said.
Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
WHAT: Stand for the Silent anti-bullying assembly.
WHERE: Alice Robertson Junior High School, 402 N. S St.
WHEN: 6:45 p.m. Monday
State bullying statistics
A 2011 Oklahoma Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed:
• Three percent of high school students didn’t go to school recently because they felt they would be unsafe at school or on their way to or from school.
• Six percent of high school students had been threatened or injured with a weapon while on school property.
• Seventeen percent of high school students reported being bullied on school property.
• Six percent of high school students carried a weapon such as a gun, knife or club on school property.