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Tag Archive | "be nice"

Taking the next step

Students show support for anti-bullying campaign

Cedar Springs Middle School students had a “white out” last Friday, May 12, and was one of several schools that participated in a helicopter flyover as part of the be nice. campaign (against bullying). Photo by Joe Corriveau.

By Autumn Fish


Students at Cedar Springs Middle School wore white last Friday to signal solidarity against bullying and participate in a helicopter flyover.

For the past couple of weeks, students at Cedar Springs Middle School have been learning about bullying and working out ways to get rid of it completely. A group of GVSU students and the West Michigan Mental Health Foundation visited CSMS last week as a part of the be nice. campaign, which encourages kindness and civility among all students.

To take the campaign to the next step, the Mental Health Foundation teamed up with Amway and Fox 17 News to fly a helicopter over participating schools. Students from middle schools and high schools across west Michigan were involved in this campaign. At CSMS, students gathered in the field on the west side of the school to form the words “be nice.” The helicopter then flew over the students to take aerial pictures of the words they created. Other schools involved included Grandville Middle School, Grandville High School, Grandview Elementary School, Century Park Learning Center, Forest Hills Central Middle School, West Catholic High School and Timberland Charter Academy in Muskegon Township.

Students also came together by having a school-wide white out in which all students and staff wore white in order to discourage bullying.

Following the flyover, teachers were able to bring their students to an assembly in the large group room of the middle school. Students from Cedar Springs High School directed the assembly. They presented a few skits and talked to students about bullying and other difficulties they may face as they enter high school. The skits exhibited troubles faced in high school such as bullying, drinking, smoking, depression, peer pressure, suicide, and more. CSHS students stressed the importance of keeping an open mind when students are in high school; to realize that they will eventually have to make choices that will change their lives. CSMS students were able to hear first hand about things that really do happen in high school by students that are currently going through those situations. Over 350 students and staff members attended the assembly put on by the high school students.

CSHS students can only hope that their presentation helped students of the middle school prepare for high school, to help them understand what to expect. What middle school teachers have been telling their students all along is true: They really are going to go through these troubles in high school.

To learn more about the be nice. campaign, visit www.themhf.org/index.php/education/be_nice1/

Autumn Fish is a junior at Cedar Springs High School.

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One step at a time

By Autumn Fish 

Students at Cedar Springs Middle School received a wake-up call Tuesday, May 8, when a group from the Kent County Mental Health Foundation visited their school to present an assembly for a campaign known as be nice. The goal is to open the eyes of young students in communities across Michigan to help them realize how large of a problem bullying is.

The presentation started out by showing a video created by the State of Michigan Surgeon General. The video, created using only text, pictures, and music, showed many teens across Michigan who had taken their lives because of bullying.

According to Christy Buck, Executive Director of the Mental Health Foundation, suicide is the second highest cause of death among teens and college students in Kent County. Buck said that statistic is higher than both the national and state statistic, where it’s the third leading cause of death. Bullying is often a precipitating factor to suicide.

“Talking about it helps prevent it, and students need to recognize the factors that contribute to it. We wanted to take a proactive approach and operate on the model that everybody needs to be nice, rather than anti-bullying, or saying don’t do this or that,” she explained. “We target the 80 percent that are good kids and give them the tools and ammunition to make it work.”

Together, students had brainstorm sessions during the assembly to think of ways that they can keep making a difference in their school. Students were able to think of different events and activities that they could do at school to help eliminate bullying.

This Friday, May 11, CSMS students will be wearing white in memory of those who have been bullied or to those who may have taken their lives because of bullying. At a designated time, the students will all conglomerate in the field next to the middle school as a helicopter does a flyover and take aerial pictures. The helicopter flyover is also a part of the be nice. campaign and will also be traveling to other schools across west Michigan the same day.

Earlier this year, Cedar Springs High School also had a presentation similar to the be nice. campaign. Speaker Laurie Stewart, from LA Stewart Presentations, in Kalamazoo, came to talk to students about being the difference in their school. This assembly seemed to really open the eyes of many students at CSHS. Following Laurie’s presentation, a climate group was created. This group consists of about 20 students from different cliques in the high school. The idea of this group is to keep students from forgetting about what they learned during the assembly; to keep students from losing their motivation to change the climate of the school.

Students can make the difference as long as they are willing to work for it; one step at a time, students can be the change they want to see.

Autumn Fish is a junior at Cedar Springs High School. Post Editor Judy Reed also contributed to this story.





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