MANHATTAN, Kan. – As a continued effort to reduce bullying in her school, Principal Vickie Kline, the principal of Susan B. Anthony Middle School in Manhattan, Kan., teamed up with six Soldiers of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Sept. 17 to kickoff the school’s anti-bullying campaign.
The campaign follows the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, which is a program designed to teach youth, communities, teachers and parents how to prevent or reduce bullying in schools.
Though the school has been using the program for five years, this is the first time for the school to join forces with the military to talk to students about the effects of bullying.
“(The program) empowers kids to step into a situation instead of walking away from it,” said Kline.
“I like that we have Soldiers here in uniform who are united … and work and go all over the world and have all different types of experiences – I thought, what a nice model that they are showing to these students as they are working with them,” she added.
The Rangers of Bravo Company are working with Kline and Susan B. Anthony Middle School through the Adopt a School program, which is a program that was created as a way to connect Fort Riley with surrounding area schools.
“Doing these things like interacting with the kids and giving them my story or a story of mine dealing with bullying can affect how they view it and could make them decide to step in on occasions when they see it or are doing it to maybe back off or stop it from happening,” said Staff Sgt. Leo Devine, a squad leader with Bravo Company, 2-16 Inf.
“(The partnership) helps to make the kids understand that the Army’s here for them and lets them know that we support our communities that surround the Fort Riley area,” added the Dekalb, Ill., native. “If we work together, we can make this a great post and surrounding area for everybody.”