LVUSD should move STAR program presentations to high school and host anti-bullying assemblies in middle of elementary schools instead

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“I have spoken to elementary school teachers who believe that bullying definitely starts at an early age, therefore I think these programs should be switched.”

– Honors and AP English teacher Diane McEvoy

The Success Through Awareness and Resistance (STAR) program of LVUSD teaches elementary and middle school students about the dangers of doing drugs, having a bad attitude and giving into peer pressure.  I believe that reiterating the risks of these behaviors to high school students would be more beneficial, as these tendencies are more prevalent in high school.  An elementary student doing drugs or drinking at such a young age is unlikely, whereas the same issue in high school is fairly common.  Contrarily, high schools such as CHS focus on reducing the issue of bullying even though this is an issue mainly pertaining to elementary and middle school students.  Evidently, I contend that if schools reverse the timing of these programs, they would be more valuable and effective.

In elementary school, nearly everyone signs a pledge promising not to do drugs or drink alcohol but completely forgets this petition in high school.  In reality, the petition was not going to stop students from experimenting – and they certainly were not going to experiment in elementary school.  I do not remember any of the anti-bulling seminars or alcohol warnings I was taught in elementary school, and I am sure most of my peers do not either.  As a child, everyone simply assumes that they will never do drugs, so they do not take these matters as seriously.  These in-depth programs would have a greater impact on high school students.

“When you are in elementary school, you really are not aware of the dangers of drugs,” said sophomore Tara Ostad.  “Despite signing a pledge or banner, later in life you will forget about that and peer pressure can lead you to experiment with drugs.”

High school students are generally more mature than younger kids and therefore better understand and appreciate the facts they learn at STAR programs.  As a high school student, I know that people at CHS would take these programs more seriously, considering they cover subjects and issues that pertain to our school.

“The STAR program is important in high school because students are more likely to be influenced by drugs,” said sophomore Sabrina Kay.  “This program teaches them that smoking and drinking alcohol should not be an escape from the problems that they are experiencing.”

Anti-bulllying assemblies usually consist of a video and statistics.  These are shown to high school students who already understand that bullying is wrong and hope to eliminate it.  Meanwhile, elementary and middle school students do not know all these facts.

Learning about these issues in high school would be more impactful to students and their futures.  A huge issue that elementary schools and middle schools deal with is bullying.  Although bullying is often times an issue in high schools, bullying is an even larger problem at elementary schools and middle schools.  According to www.dosomething.org, physical bullying escalates in elementary school, peaks in middle school and reduces in high school.  Therefore, I believe that bullying would become less prevalent if younger students were to attend anti-bullying seminars.

A continuation of STAR into high school would be a huge benefit to students because the program covers topics that are relatable to high school students. Continuing the program in high school may help a lot of students, for bullying is an issue that mainly applies to middle and elementary schools.   Thus, having anti-bullying programs earlier would be best.  In short, switching bullying videos and the STAR program would help properly raise awareness among students.

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