Bullying has become the new norm, and that is why Mark Koopman, a counselor and advisor at Pueblo West High school, has stepped up and began the process to create an anti-bullying program.
Karen Cologgi, a mother of a PWHS student, gave and insight of what she thinks the program will bring to the school.
She said, “I think it just needs to be done because it is not spoken enough at home and kids who are going through it at school or home, or anywhere else for that matter, need to know that someone is there to help and that help is easily accessible.
To kick off this program, Koopman offered eight students, currently enrolled at the high school, to join several other schools on the 2018 Winter Xgames kid’s day.
This year’s 2018 Xgames has campaigned a “Shred Hate” program as well. What really stood out from this campaign was the young girl who proudly walked the stage to share her story.
As many may be able to relate, this young girl told the crowd how she had been bullied for being athletic and sporty, but with help she was able to move past this common occurring situation.
Koopman wants students to feel like they aren’t alone just as this young girl was not, and he plans to do so with his upcoming anti-bullying program.
As a counselor, Koopman explained his personal opinion on bullying as, “My personal perspective on bullying is that bullying comes out of fear, people who don’t know who they are yet, or understand that other people are maybe in a different place in their life or in a different place of their and throughout that , sometimes they come up as, either scared, or unknowing, and in order to balance the playing field a little bit, to make themselves feel a little bit better who they are, or where they are, they tend to try to bring others to their level, and usually that ends with what we would call bullying”
This is only one reason of several to why Koopman has decided to create the anti- bullying program
This program will start with the class of 2022. Koopman plans to start with the freshmen class, that way they hear it first hand, on the first day, that PWHS is a safe place to be, as well as a good school, and a bullying free zone.
From there, he plans to continue to engrave this idea throughout the entire school.
He explained that this program will come with built in training, which will include an all staff preparation to help them to not only be able to spot bullying, but to also teach them how to talk someone who may be involved in bullying through the situation.
Koopman explained that bullying isn’t as rare at Pueblo West High School as he, as well as the rest of the staff, would like it to be.
On average, bullying is reported two to three times a week at PWHS alone. To help in Koopman’s fight against bullying, remember, PWHS is where respect is a way of life.