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Resource officer: Bullying ‘is real and hurts’

Resource officer: Bullying ‘is real and hurts’
Resource officer: Bullying ‘is real and hurts’
Officer Mike Kurz of the Harrison County Sheriff's Dept., who serves as the school resource officer at New Middletown and Heth-Washington elementary schools, discusses an anti-bullying program he coordinates at the schools during the March 3 meeting of the South Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees, which was held at NMES. Photo by Alan Stewart

Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. Officer Mike Kurz, who also serves as a school resource officer for New Middletown and Heth-Washington elementary schools in the South Harrison Community School Corp., gave a presentation March 3 at a meeting of the school corporation trustees about an anti-bullying program he promotes at the schools.
Kurz said that he shares with students how to identify bullying behaviors and problems, who bullies, warning signs of bullying and how to cope with it, while also describing the negative impacts of bullying.
During the program, Kurz shows clips of movies and cartoons to demonstrate bullying on a level that children can understand.
‘We tell them that bullying is something that is repeated and systematic,’ Kurz said. ‘It’s not a one-time instance.’
Kurz said students in all grades are targets; however, there’s a focus on fifth- and sixth-graders. In an attempt to help students further, a question-and-suggestion box was placed in the schools so students could ask questions anonymously, then he visits classes to answer the questions.
‘I had a student come up to me and ask what to do if the bullying gets to a point where it hurts so bad that they want to commit suicide. I didn’t bring that up to anyone; the student brought it up,’ Kurz said, later adding that bullying, even at an elementary school level, is real and it hurts.
Wrapping up his presentation, Kurz said he challenges students to stand up to bullying behavior and gave examples of positive feedback.
Tami Geltmaker, the corporation’s director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, gave a review of the amount of testing various students at South Harrison will be going through between now and the end of the school year, ranging from ISTEP and I-READ to acuity and ECA graduation tests.
During the superintendent’s report, it was noted that kindergarten round-up dates for 2015-16 will be April 13 and 15 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Corydon Elementary School, April 23 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Heth-Washington Elementary School, April 20 from 3 to 6 p.m. at New Middletown Elementary School and April 21 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at South Central Elementary.