You’ve heard it a hundred times, “I was just kidding.” These words are often used to dismiss bullying behavior but, if it hurts, it’s not funny.
That is the theme of the third annual Response to Bullying kick-off extravaganza being held at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn.
The program is open to the public, and will take place on Sept. 30, starting at 6 p.m.
The district's Response to Bullying program started two years ago. Since that time, other groups and organizations have launched their own programs to address bullying behavior in the community.
Now there is an effort to build a bully-free culture throughout the city of Dearborn.
“Our community knows that bullying behavior can happen anywhere or anytime; in the classroom, at the park, in the mall, or online. That is the reason our Board of Education took on this project and why we have had such great support from our mayor, city council, community groups and organizations,” said Dearborn Superintendent Brian Whiston.
This year’s celebration will be an evening of entertainment and inspiration. Students from around the district will display their talents in a variety of performances accented with meaningful messages from community leaders including Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr.
In 2011, the district put into place a policy on bullying behavior that requires all Dearborn staff having any contact with students to participate in annual anti-bullying professional development on how to prevent, identify, respond to and report bullying behavior. In addition, each school conducts anti-bullying training for parents, tracks incidents of bullying behavior, and holds three anti-bullying events each year.