Local group aims to stop bullying and better school climate

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RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. – The CSRA Saving Our Students group is teaming up with the Richmond County Board of Education to tackle the bullying problem, and provide a healthy school climate.

“Bullying is a problem everywhere. The elders are being bullied, there’s bullying in the workplace. So of course, there is bullying in schools,” says the groups founder, Annettea Mills.

The CSRA Saving Our Students group or SOS is trying to end bullying in Richmond County’s schools and understand how to earn a good school climate rating through parent and administration discussions. “School climate is just the way you feel about coming to school, being in school. Whether or not you’re having a positive experience through the whole school process,” explains Nathan Benedict, the RCBOE specialist on school climates

Georgia rates school climates through attendance, surveys, and suspensions and provides a star rating to each school annually. SOS brought in a specialist from the Richmond County Board of Education Wednesday to talk about how parents can get involved and change a school’s climate. Benedict says, “If you have a good school climate, then you’re going to participate in school more, learn more, be there more, improve the world.”

Parents and school staff talked about how bullying is a problem that can stem from other places outside of school. Mills satys, “At the end of the day, some of the bullying that’s going on is because some things that have happened with parents or how something was said to them or something.”

SOS encourages parents to get involved to raise a school’s climate rating by volunteering. Mills explains, “If your principal is allowing you to come in, come in and volunteer, come in and read a story, come in and volunteer in the lunchroom, help do car rider duty, bus rider duty, ride a bus.”

Parents expressed the sentiment that a healthy school climate can make the difference in making a student want to come to school and care about their education.

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