Hickman High School and Columbia College team up for bullying prevention month

A panel of teachers, principals, and parents hosted a Q&A with students. (Lexie Petrovic/KRCG13).

Tonight at Columbia College, students from the university and Hickman High School came together to support a good cause and draw awareness to bullying prevention.

In support of National Bullying Prevention Month, students from Columbia College provided academic research studies and presented them to a panel of teachers, principals, and parents. In return, the panel conducted a Q&A session that answered questions about bulling and how to access resources.

Hickman High School principal Tony Gragnani said Columbia Public Schools has an anti-bullying policy and there are procedures and forms that require staff to act on bullying-type situations.

"There's a bullying report form that we have to complete," he said. "And we have 10 days to make sure that we have followed up and addressed that to determine if bullying was occurring or not."

Dr. Blake Nielson organized the event with his psychology class at Columbia College. He said it's important to recognize this issue goes far past adolescent years.

"It appears in a lot of areas beyond just junior high and high school," he said. "There are longitudinal effects that can still impact somebody later on in their adulthood."

Columbia College senior Seth Boren said he wants victims of bullying to know there is always help and support.

""They're not alone," he said. "There are other people getting bullied, there is always somebody you can talk to. Whether you feel comfortable or not, your parents, administrators, they're there to listen."

Although this is the first time the two institutions have joined forces for National Bullying Prevention Month, they said they hope it's not the last.

"It's more of a systemic change that needs to take place," Nielson said. "It starts with our students. It starts with our teachers. Our school members. Our community members. It involves everybody. We all need to be all in on this and stomp out bullying."

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