Student honored for making impact on bully-proofing

From left are Bonnie Ortega, school-based program supervisor; Erin Schofield, school-based Specialist; Victoria Romero, chief clinical officer; Courtney Hamilton; and Fernando Martinez, chief executive officer. Courtney provided information for informational anti-bullying business cards.

VALLEY — Bullying. An unwanted, repeated and aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Those who bully, use their power, such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information or popularity  to control or harm others.
Courtney Hamilton, a sophomore at Centauri High School was recently awarded the “Community Impact Award” by the San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group (SLVBHG). Courtney has taken a stand against bullying and wants everyone to know about it.

Stand up
As a member of the Family, Career and Community Leadership of America (FCCLA) program, she has devoted much of her time and efforts in developing the program, Stand up, Speak Out to Prevent Bullying locally in the SLV.
In addition to making many presentations to her fellow classmates.
She worked closely with the San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group in the development of new promotional materials to help educate the San Luis Valley community and to increase bullying awareness.  
“Although concern about [bullying] is growing, bullying isn’t an epidemic. In fact, national rates have decreased slightly in recent years,” reported StopBullying.gov.
Many factors have contributed to this slight decline in bullying. Recent studies are pointing to students like Courtney, Who have taken it upon themselves to stand up and speak out. Students taking the initiative to teach classmates about the importance of treating others with respect and intervening on behalf of other students when they witness bullying is making a huge difference.
Creating a culture
Though Courtney and other students are making a difference, the solutions to bullying are not simple. “Bullying prevention approaches that show the most promise confront the problem from many angles.
They involve the entire school community—students, families, administrators, teachers and staff such as bus drivers, nurses, cafeteria and front office staff—in creating a culture of respect,” emphasized on stopbullying.gov.
There is much the citizens of the San Luis Valley can do to aid in the prevention of bullying.
 Courtney says the first step is to educate ourselves - learn what bullying is and what it is not, learn the warning signs and what local resources are available. Stopbullying.gov/what-you-can-do lists many suggestions, resources and powerful tools that many are using to prevent bullying in their communities.


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