Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wellsville Crime Watch Committee April Meeting

The Wellsville Crime Watch Committee held their April meeting on April 21 at Village Hall. President Janet Taggart presided. WPD Juvenile Officer Marsha Eisenhart presented a program on bullying in the schools. Eisenhart works three days a week in the Wellsville schools. Shown here is Eisenhart being assisted by off duty WPD Officer Joe Rayle.

Bullying is described as direct verbal, physical or psychological aggression or harassment toward an individual. Bullying is probably worse in the Middle Schools throughout the United States. There are many types of bullying. The most common are verbal, physical, indirect, social alienation, intimidation and cyber bullying. Verbal bullying is the most common. It includes name calling, offensive remarks or consistently making the subject the butt of jokes. Physical bullying is the second most common and includes aggressive hitting, pulling or shoving. Indirect bullying is probably most common with girls. It involves back biting and spreading false rumors about the subject. Social alienation is usually directed to the quiet types, excluding them from groups. Intimidation is any type of verbal threat with the purpose of making the victim give in to the bully's demands. Cyber bullying involves destroying or smearing the victim's reputation via e-mails, blogs, forum posts, texts, etc.

Eisenhart related that the easiest to prove is physical bullying. It is also called assault. The perpetrator can be expelled from school and be charged with assault. The hardest to deal with is psychological bullying. It involves mind games. Eisenhart said boys are the easiest to work with. They usually just fight it out and get it out of their system.

The number one factor causing bullying is the bully's home life. They are likely a victim at home themselves and are looking for a release in the form of bullying when they get to school. For some it can be peer pressure with the bully wanting to be part of the group. Statistics show that nearly 50% of school age bullies in grades 6 through 9 are convicted criminals, having served time in jail by age 24. One young man in the audience said “when you see bullying you're suppose to go get the nearest adult”.

Eisenhart stated that probably the easiest way to stop bullying is with parents working with the schools. Unfortunately many parents are not much involved with their children's lives. Another suggestion was forming a “Students Against Bullying” group with student members working with school staff and parents. Creating after school programs for the students was also suggested.

Before closing her presentation Eisenhart announced that she will be coordinating a drug testing program in the Wellsville schools that will begin in July. It will start with athletes and those wanting to participate in extra-curricular activities. High School football players, volleyball players and band members will be the first tested. It will also later include high school club members. Eisenhart noted that such a program is already being done in East Palestine. Once the kinks are worked out it will include the Middle School.

May is Police Month. At the next meeting the Crime Watch Committee will have a “Meet Your Wellsville Officers” night including the newest officer Ryot. Ryot is the K-9 Belgian Malanois that is now a certified drug dog. Ryot is already credited for three drug busts in the village since being certified. After the meeting there will be tours of the Police Station with refreshments available. The public is invited.

The next meeting is scheduled for 6 PM Thursday, May 19 at Village Hall, 1200 Main St.

ole nib

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