Staff and students of Wylie’s Burnett Junior High are uniting in a unique way to stop bullying.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and the school’s librarian and counselor decided to bring a fresh perspective on the topic. Each student and teacher received a copy of Gordon Korman’s “Restart.”
The book follows an eighth grader named Chase. After falling off a roof, he loses his memory and has to rebuild his life based off what others tell him about his former life as a bully.
“This is through the eyes of a bully, not a victim,” said counselor Heather Smyder. “He has to make friends with the people he hurt. There’s also a family component – he works on mending relationships with his family. It’s not so preachy.”
When Smyder discovered that she could buy copies of “Restart” for only one dollar, school officials decided to purchase a copy for every student and teacher, regardless of what subject they teach.
Every Language Arts class began reading it at the beginning of October. Although each class works at a different speed, Smyder hopes the whole school will be finished by Christmas break. In January, she will work with the librarian and a Language Arts teacher to implement weekly Wylie Way lessons based off the book.
According to Smyder, kids and teachers alike love what they have read so far.
“We’re really excited to do this together,” she said. “Every teacher of every subject can teach it. It drives home self-examination – how can I be a better person? It’s something teachers can refer to all year long.”
By Morgan Howard • [email protected]