An anti-bullying group for parents holds its first meeting tomorrow at Benzie High School’s SEEDS room at 6:30 pm. The group is a spinoff of the kids’ anti-bullying Pride group that formed earlier this year. All are welcome to come out and discuss how we can be nicer to each other. Tomorrow’s meeting will be facilitated by SEEDS coordinator Josh Stoltz.
Stoltz says the group will be a way to channel some energy that’s built up over this issue recently, and a way for parents to communicate with each other about their concerns and present them with a “unified voice” to school administrators. Local bullying incidents made the news this year.
Vickie Slater, who teaches dance through SEEDS, said Benzie High School students got the idea for their Pride group from a school with a similar group in Newaygo and took the initiative to make their own program. They have instigated “High Five Fridays,” where students high five each other in the hallways and each find five complimentary, positive things to say to five other students. They also discuss other teen issues, such as the homelessness rate among teens in the Traverse area.
A student-created performance that deals with teen issues such as drugs, suicide, and homelessness is planned for March.
For now, the teen Pride group is just at Benzie Central, but at least one student has expressed an interest in forming a Frankfort chapter. If enough students decide to get together Slater said she’ll help coordinate. “Things don’t usually take off or become successful unless the take responsibility for it,” Slater said.