Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Gov. Nikki Haley made a stop at Georgetown Middle School on Wednesday where she was able to drop the political talk for awhile and speak about another important topic bullying.
Haley who said she visited the school at the request of State Rep. Carl Anderson told the 150 students selected to attend the rally that making fun of people for the way they look, dress or talk is bullying.
When she asked if the students knows someone who has been picked on or bullied, every student raised their hand.
All of that is bullying and it is wrong, Haley said. Cool kids dont bully.
She told them if they see someone being bullied and stand by and do nothing, they are just as guilty of bullying as the one committing the act.
A leader says dont do that. A leader tries to do something about it, Haley told the students. A leader will go tell a teacher.
When asked if she was bullied, Haley said, Yes, I actually was when I was in elementary school and middle school. I was bullied, and I was bullied because no one knew whether I was black or white. I am Indian. All I knew was I was brown. I was made fun of because we were the only Indian family in town. ... But what I learned was to be strong, and to speak up and educate people; and I want to make sure you understand that even if youve been bullied, look at me today, these things can change.
Fifty students from each grade level were chosen to attend the rally. The selection was based on test scores, said Principal Rosemary Gray.
Haleys office did not announce they were visiting the school until Tuesday which gave the staff only a day to prepare.
Signs of bullying
Comes home with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings
Reports losing items such as books, electronics, clothing or jewelry
Has unexplained injuries
Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches or feeling sick
Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams
Has changes in eating habits
Hurts himself or herself
Is very hungry after school from not eating lunch
Runs away from home
Loses interest in visiting or talking with friends
Is afraid of going to school or other activities with peers
Loses interest in schoolwork or begins to do poorly in school
Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed
Talks about suicide
Often feels like he or she is not good enough
Blames himself for his problems
Suddenly has fewer friends
Avoids certain places
Acts differently than usual
By Scott Harper