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Austin students take stand against bullying

Bullying is a conversation happening this week at Ellis Middle School in Austin.

Posted: Oct 31, 2019 5:10 PM

AUSTIN,Minn- It's something nearly all students have to deal with at some point and it can be tough to handle.
Bullying is a conversation happening this week at Ellis Middle School in Austin.

A student-based group called "students taking a new direction" known as "stand" is showing students how to respond if they witness bullying.Vanessa Gatdet is an 8th grader at the middle school.

"At our school, there is a lot of drama between girls and boys in 7th grade and 8th grade,” Gatdet said. “I think people should just relax. Why do you want to get in trouble for someone talking behind your back or to your face.”

Gatdet says she is currently not a victim of bullying but has experienced it before when she was young,”

“They are just insecure,” Gatdet. “ The best way to handle it is to just laugh at them or ignore them.”

Jessica Cabeen is the principal at Ellis Middle School. She says the best way to tackle the is issue is to address it head-on with education and compassion. She says if a student comes across a bully they should reach out to an adult.

"Find a caring adult,” Cabeen said. “ At Ellis Middle School we expect the best out of everyone. Each adult works hard to connect and find positive attributes out of all of our students. I've had students email, teachers connecting in the halls, in the cafeteria just building those solid relationships so they do feel comfortable."

Students are learning three strategies for dealing with bullying. The first is to be direct and if safe address the problem. Next, distract take attention away from the action. Last delegate. When you see something getting out of control seek an adult.

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