Tuscaloosa City Schools to H.A.L.T. bullying - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Tuscaloosa City Schools to H.A.L.T. bullying

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Tuscaloosa City School system is taking the issue of bullying into its own hands.  On Friday, leaders announce an aggressive campaign aimed to defeat the problem.  It's called H.A.L.T. or Harassment Awareness Learning Together.

    Students at Rock Quarry Middle and Elementary first started plastering posters all over the school Friday that read 'Stand Strong' against people who bully others.  The goal is to get students to open up and not tolerate it.

  "We erase the word 'snitch' and everybody's buying into it and then what happens the kids are ok to say...somebody's bothering me"

   Shannon Shannon beard initially started -halt- at Eastwood middle school where she works as a counselor.  The system liked her strategy.  They've even designed a video that will handed out to schools for students to watch and invite a number of motivational speakers on the topic throughout the new school year.

    The posters feature real students which school officials hope will encourage others to expose bullies and learn "where the bullying issue spikes...is it in 5th grade or is it in 6th grade...is it with the girls or with the boys."

   Also, students will also sign pledge card and get a bracelet like to remind them.

   Rock Quarry 8th grader, James Gentry believes the H.A.L.T.  plan will make a big difference.   He says he's personally seen classmates bullied.  "Sometimes you see kids who like to pick on other kids just because they're shorter or less strong."

"Maybe it will make people think next time before they bully," said another student, Samantha Adams.

  And from it -- school officials hope to draft different methods to address the problems early on.  "So now we go for the curriculum. Then, we can pinpoint a curriculum for that specific grade level. I don't see a cookie cutter model for prek through 12."