A new anti-bullying program introduces anti-mistreatment training to high school students.  The “Waking Up Courage” campaign launched at Monroe High School in Kern County, CA with the goal to reduce bullying and building bridges.

Like U.S. ambassadors to overseas countries are tasked to keep the peace, more than three dozen Tehachapi High School students have been selected to build bridges between different social groups on campus.

Selected to represent various social groups, the students received special anti-bullying training on conflict resolution and bullying last week at Monroe High School in Kern County.

The in-depth anti-bullying training was the third in a series of events that kicked off the Safe School Ambassadors’ “Waking up Courage” campaign, which began on Monday in Tehachapi with an all-school assembly, staff development meeting and a parent community gathering that evening.

This anti-bullying was funded in part by a $74,000 grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board under the auspices of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools and developed by Community Matters in California, the anti-mistreatment program provides a unique approach to making school campuses more inviting for all students.

Up until now, students had only two options when witnessing classmates being mistreated — do nothing or say nothing, or become a “snitch.”

But not anymore, as student ambassadors learned they have other options to intervene with friends and classmates when they see teasing, bullying or any behavior that involves their peers mistreating each other.

What students learned

Students were first taught the four basic parts of the SAA program: notice, think, act and follow through. Then the intervention steps: balancing, support, reasoning, distracting, directing and if needed — getting help.

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Dr. Claudio V. Cerullo speaks at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in support of the PASS Act Anti-Bullying Legislation 2013