Morgan County Middle School students learned the importance of being kind to each other and of taking a stand against bullying.
When asked if they’ve ever been bullied, if they have been a bully, or have been a bystander to someone being teased, almost no one raised their hands.
"That’s something that I usually get because they don’t want to raise their hand when others are looking but when they close their eyes and they think that no one else is looking, they will be honest and if you looked at the crowd when everyone closed their eyes, almost everybody’s hand went up," said State Representative Marlene Anielski, the speaker at the event.
With the loss of her 18-year-old son Joseph who stood up against bullying, Anielski started the Ski Box Program; a way for students to speak up about being teased, being bullied or if they’re having problems at home. Anielski believes reaching kids at a younger age is key and said she wants kids to enjoy life, not struggle through it.
"First of all, I want them to be a friend to themselves and also to other people and if there is something just not right on and you try to talk to someone and that’s the first defense, talk to a trusted adult. But if you just can’t do that and something’s bothering you, write a note and drop it in the box and then some administrator at the school will be checking that daily to take some action."
Ski Boxes are in schools from kindergarten all the way up to college in Ohio, West Virginia and Tennessee. If you’d like to have Anielski come to your school to speak about bullying or would like a Ski Box for your school, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org