Coalition to combat bullying is launched in El Paso schools
CANUTILLO -- An anti-bullying campaign was launched Thursday in hopes of educating the public and preventing bullying in schools and neighborhoods.
The Anti-Bullying Coalition, led by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, has the goal of raising awareness on how bullying can lead to serious physical and psychological harm, said coalition chairman Cmdr. Jesus Campa.
Campa defined bullying as making fun of somebody. It can be physical or emotional or through text or social media, he said.
Bullying involves the use of power or superiority to control or harm others mostly by words, and that makes it hard to report, Campa said.
The start of the coalition was announced at Alderette Middle School.
Sheriff Richard Wiles said the idea of forming a coalition started while authorities were looking at some concerns related to bullying.
While some agencies and school districts were already trying to prevent bullying, Wiles said, there wasn't a coordinated effort.
The coalition is working with the University of Texas at El Paso to conduct a survey of area schools to find out from students the extent of bullying.
Wiles said the study will help authorities come up with effective ways to confront the problem.
"Because it's my belief that black or white, gay or straight, big or small, athletic or not É every child should be able to go to school and feel safe," Wiles said.
County Attorney Jo Ann Bernal said the coalition was needed. She said the county attorney's office has had an increasing number of bullying cases referred to it for prosecutioin.
Early this week, the County Commissioners Court signed a resolution declaring a bully-free year, while the El Paso City Council adopted a proclamation against bullying.
County Judge Veronica Escobar said she supports the sheriff's effort to prevent bullying.
Escobar said it's hard enough for children to deal with challenges and stresses at school without outside factors such as bullying or a harsh environment.
El Paso Mayor John Cook said that to stop bullying, it is necessary to teach children to speak up for themselves.
On Thursday, Cook encouraged young students to not tolerate any type of bullying and to take that message to other children at their schools.
Sheriff's officials also introduced the coalition's mascot, Deputy Dog, similar to McGruff the Crime Dog.
Campa said the coalition will start its anti-bullying efforts by working with teachers this summer on what they need to do to prevent bullying. Starting next school year, presentations will be made to first-, fifth- and eighth-graders.
Members of the coalition include agencies of the county and city, the Canutillo, Tornillo, Anthony and San Elizario school districts and various public and private organizations.
El Paso County Sheriff's Office Anti Bullying Coalition Forum
On Saturday, February 4, 2012 the Sheriff’s Office Anti-Bullying Coalition held an Anti-Bullying Forum at the Region VIII Training Academy from 11 a.m.—3 p.m. The audience consisted of middle school and high school students and their parents. These students were referred from the Justice of the Peace Courts for violations ranging from truancy to disruption of classes. Our goal was to educate students and their parents on the serious issues related to bullying. Parents also received tips from presenters on the importance of being involved in their child’s life and how to look for signs of different behavior.
Speakers included: Sheriff’s Office Community Service Deputies, Laura Christopherson (County Attorney’s Office), U.S. Border Patrol Challenge Academy Agents, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Gang Intervention Specialist Rob Gallardo. Presenters gave information to students and parents separately on the following topics: drugs, peer pressure, sexting, juvenile law, cyber bullying, negative consequences to social networking, attitude, and gangs.
Overall, the event to educate youths in our community regarding the negative consequences and feelings on bullying and peer pressure was outstanding.
El Paso County Sheriff's Office Anti-Bullying Coalition Mother Daughter Event
On January 28, 2012 the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Community Service Division was invited to participate in the annual Socorro Independent School District Mother Daughter Conference. This event was held at El Dorado High school with over 2,000 women in attendance. Deputies Eileen Lopez and Tony Provencio gave presentations on cyber bullying which ranges on issues from gossip to sending inappropriate photos through text message. Deputies Lopez and Provencio spoke on the negative consequences of posting on social networks in relation to applying for jobs and/or colleges. Overall the event was a success and the feedback from the participants and the staff was positive for the Sheriff’s Office and the Anti-Bullying Coalition.
Friday January 6, 2012
The Sheriff's Office partnered with Border Patrol Agents and presented drug and alcohol awareness and cyber bullying to an audience of approximately 300 students from the San Elizario School District.
January 4, 2012
Deputy E. Lopez gave a presentation to the boy scouts on cyber bullying awareness and shared tips with the parents on identifying victims of bullying along with preventive measures. Overall it was an interactive audience with positive feedback
El Paso County Sheriff's Office Anti Bullying Coalition Holds Special Event to Recognize October as National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month
October 12, 2011 the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Anti Bullying Coalition held a special event to recognize October as National Anti-bulling Awareness month. The event was held at the Walgreens Parking lot located at 1100 Geronimo, El Paso, Texas. The Sheriff’s Office was onsite placing black and white ribbons on the antennas of vehicles driving up to show their support for Anti-bullying awareness, and take a stand against bullying. Hit FM Radio 104.3 was also on hand to promote the event and do live remotes letting people know to come show their support. The black ribbon represents the mourning of those that have lost their lives due to bullying or have taken their own lives due to bullying. The white ribbon represents hope and peace. People who showed up to the event not only had a black and white ribbon attached to their antenna but were also given anti- bullying informational pamphlets and Krispy Kreme Donuts. The event was an all around success and helped raise awareness for the Anti-bullying initiative.
El Paso County Sheriff's Office Anti Bullying Coalition Strike Out Bullying Event
On Sunday, September 25, 2011, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Anti-Bullying Coalition hosted a bowling tournament at Oasis Lanes Bowling Alley located on North Zaragoza. The event was to raise awareness on the seriousness of bullying in our schools. Deputy Eileen Lopez did an outstanding job in organizing the whole event. The tournament consisted of five players per team to play a three game competition. A total of sixteen teams signed up and competed against one another for the top three finalists. First place was awarded to “Family Crisis” lead by Melissa Carrillo (Human Resource director). Second place was awarded to “Fab Five” (Jail Annex bowlers: D/O Mario Sanchez, D/O Ricardo Chavez, D/O Eduardo Rios, Cpl. John Filarski and Fernie Duchene). Third place was awarded to “Sixty-fours” (friends and family of Deputy Eileen Lopez), and the last place winners for the worst score was awarded to Secure Our Schools Section (SOS) who received a broken bowling pin. Everyone enjoyed watching the NFL games featured on the big screens while listening to the loud sounds of the bowling pins being struck by the bowling balls. Door prizes were also raffled during the event. Overall, everyone had a blast and showed their full support towards the children of this community and the Coalition. All teams had a lot of fun a close bowling tournament. Thanks to all for your participation.
2nd-Annual Raise Awareness Run hosted by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office to Run Out Bullying
On Saturday, August 6,2011 the El Paso County Sheriff's Office Explorer Post 2005, in partnership with 104.3 Hit fm hosted "The 2nd Annual Raise Awareness Run" held at McKelligon Canyon. A total of 320 participants joined us for the 8K/5K run, and 1 mile fun walk. Participants received a T-shirt, along with a gift bag. Medals were given out to different age group categories at the end of the race. Maribel Saenz–Hernandez from Secure Our Schools (SOS) won a 3rd place medal for the 5K run. This race was in-tended to raise awareness and send a message El Paso County to "Run Out Bullying." Overall, the run turned out to be an amazing event. The Sheriff's Office Anti-Bullying Coalition is ready to kick off the school year "Bully-Free"