Parenting

Power Over Prejudice is Helping Middle School Students Deal with Bullying

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It”s in the news almost daily; bullying, prejudice, and stereotypes. Middle school students are being exposed to more aggressive acts of school violence resulting from bullying, stereotyping, prejudice, and teasing. These experiences often have a lasting impact on children”s social and academic achievement, self-respect, and personal growth.

Outward appearance, shy, overweight, or just different from the crowd. These are the reasons children are being bullied”sometimes to death”in America”s schools, with at least 14 students committing suicide in the past year alone.

Intensified by the inescapable reach of the internet, bullying has spun out of control. An epidemic that causes 160,000 children a day to stay home from school because they are afraid of being bullied, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Since our inception in 1997, the Power Over Prejudice (POP) programs have coached over 10,000 middle school students and over 400 school counselors on the importance of embracing diversity in their schools and communities.

Each year, student leaders from public, private and religious schools across Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding counties, including seven from Gwinnett in 2011, are selected to serve as POP Ambassadors in representation of their school. Student representative, from the different schools, attend the annual POP Summit and have an opportunity to explore together.

Our Power Over Prejudice Ambassadors gain a higher level of understanding about why diversity is important and can empower other students to address challenges with bullying, discrimination, prejudice, and intolerance. As a result, schools develop events and activities during the school year that celebrate differences, encourage respect, and promote inclusion.

Our mission is simple; to empower and educate youth to respect and embrace differences among all people through our Power Over Prejudice programs.

Our purpose; to be a resource and a partner with middle schools and their surrounding community to address prejudice, discrimination and anti-bullying. To provide guidance and support through POP programs to respond to our students” efforts to eliminate bullying in schools.

Our commitment to values. We always strive to be honest and truthful in all our dealings; to be responsible and accountable in every transaction; to be fair and equitable in each relationship; to be respectful and mindful of the dignity of every individual; and to be compassionate and caring in each situation.

To get involved, donate, or just to learn more about our programs, visit www.poweroverprejudice.org.