Students start off school year taking anti-bullying efforts into their own hands

    Students in the Granite School District kicked off the school year with their own anti-bullying campaign. (Photo: KUTV)

    (KUTV) — Students at Granite High School are taking bullying into their own hands.

    A student-led movement called “Be Strong” aims to create safe spaces for students to talk about anxieties and bullying at Olympus High School.

    One of the ways student body officers are trying to make their peers feel included is by asking everyone to just simply say “hi” to a new person, every day.

    “You always hear stories of kids saying 'hi' to each other in the halls and it goes a long way. So, simple things like that, to counteract the bullying that goes on,” said Ian Jones, student body president.

    One of his fellow officers, Keziah Mayer, leads the school’s Be Strong group, which meets monthly to talk about mental health issues young people may encounter.

    “We’re going to have a lot of speakers come in and talk about anxiety awareness,” she said. “I know that a lot of people who suffer from anxiety take it out in... not the best ways. And I know that can lead to bullying.”

    Granite School District spokesperson Ben Horsley said he was impressed by the ambitious actions of the student leaders.

    “Frankly, students listen to their fellow peers a lot more than they listen to their adults,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot more in the last few years of them taking on these roles of anti-suicide, anti-anxiety, welcoming, anti-bulling messages.”

    Horsley encouraged parents to talk their kids about the anti-bullying messages, as well. He also said there are many resources, like the SafeUT app, to help students report concerns about their peers or themselves to authorities, anonymously.

    Horsley encouraged students to download the free app.

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