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Centennial Students Pledge to Fight Bullying

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October is generally known for Halloween and everything spooky. But there's something more frightening than any ghoul or goblin.

One Lewiston school is taking a stand against bullying.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and students at Centennial Elementary have taken the pledge to end bullying at their school.

School counselor Amy Johannesen says, "We're trying to increase their awareness and have a dialogue about what bullying is and the things the kids can do to reduce that at our schools."

Johannesen says that dialogue started with a student survey which found about half of kids thought their schoolmates were kind only some of the time. Now they're trying to increase kindness from "some of the time" to "most of the time" by teaching students what kindness looks like, and encouraging them to be positive role models.

They're also trying to teach students what bullying looks like so they can stand up against it.

Johannesen says, "We look for three things. Intention - is there an intention to cause harm. Is it repetitive? Is it happening over and over again? And is there an imbalance of power. Is the person who is the target of the behavior not able to do anything to make it stop?"

The month-long event will wrap up on October 25th, which is Unity Day, where students and staff will wear orange for a school-wide assembly. But Amy says this is just the beginning of their fight to end bullying.

And preventing bullying doesn't stop at school. Johannesen says it's also important for parents to talk to their kids about what's going on at school and really listen to their concerns.

If parents are really concerned about bullying, she suggests opening a dialogue with your child's classroom teacher.

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