By CHARLIE DENISON | Reporter - March 27, 2019
Bullying has made its way into the headlines recently, both locally and nationally. It’s a problem that persists generation to generation, and it’s not going away.
Aware of this issue, Lewistown school counselors and administrators are doing what they can in hopes to prevent repeated incidents.
Teresa Majerus, a counselor at the Lewistown Junior High School and Fergus High School, said the schools have many programs focused on bullying prevention, such as Power Up and Speak Out, a Montana-made anti-bullying toolkit.
“Power Up and Speak Out emphasizes healthy peer and dating relationships,” Teresa said. “We talk about one-sided power and two-sided power. A teacher has one-sided power, an authority figure has one-sided power, but your peers do not.
If you are in a relationship with one-sided power, you should evaluate whether that’s a healthy relationship or not.”
Power Up and Speak Out helps to better define what bullying is and attempts to discover the underlying issues creating the behavior in the first place.
Teresa said teachers and administrators regularly talk with students about the different roles of bullying: victim, bully, bystander and upstander.
“A bystander just stands there and watches, while an upstander interferes, saying something like, ‘you need to leave that person alone,’” said Teresa.