by Dylan Buckley
Bay City Central High School in Bay City, Michigan was recently recognized as a Unified School Against Bullying, according to an article on mlive.com. This accomplishment can be attributed to their anti-bullying club, which has been certified by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.
The anti-bullying club at Bay City Central High School was created 6 years ago and has since grown into a body of over 20 students with the mission to create change in both their communities and the state. Their biggest initiative so far is speaking at local middle schools to share their own experiences with bullying and how being a bully affects others. Destin’ee Banks, a senior in the anti-bullying club, says that middle school is the best time to educate students about bullying. If they can manage to prevent bullying at that age, it will make it easier for them as they enter high school.
Banks was a victim of bullying in middle school. “A lot of the skinnier girls had boyfriends and that made me upset,” said Banks. “I would get teased about my weight and the fact that I’m half-black.” The bullying escalated to the point where Banks began experiencing severe depression and starved herself in an attempt to lose weight. When she arrived at Bay City Central High School, she found out that she wasn’t alone. She became part of the anti-bullying club and realized that her experiences could make an impact on the community.
Jill Moore, a teacher at Bay City Central High School and the club’s staff liaison, had this to say about the club, “I can say that the culture at Central has improved drastically over the years because of this club. They’ve created this incredible support system that’s making a huge, positive difference on our school.”
The club hopes to continue to make progress in the community and also plans to work with state legislators in the future to get funding that will create similar anti-bullying clubs across the state of Michigan.