There is a Seven Bridges in Your School, Protect Him!

Seven Bridges Remembered:

There are many things we take for granted. Sometimes that includes life itself. My life has become centered on being selfless, bringing light to issues that affect our community, and helping to develop strategies to prevent future trauma.

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With great sadness, I write to you about Seven Bridges. The name itself screams of originality.  I’ll never get to meet Seven Bridges in person because Seven killed himself.  Classmates bullied him at school.  His parents alerted school staff, and his parents even made a move to change his school.  Alas, not even the change in schools would prevent Seven from taking his own life.


Bullying in Schools:

These types of events happen way more often than we are comfortable speaking. I understand why, but not talking about the problems won’t make them go away.

The problem, in this case, is bullying. How can we address bullying in our schools?

Whether through social media, mental or physical, bullying is on the rise.

Here are ways to address bullying in schools:

1. Awareness. Take a learning inventory of your students and your parents. Many don’t understand what bullying is nowadays. Many parents think about what they went through as students in school. We have to bring them full circle so they can understand the type of trauma students go through currently.
2. Have social workers and educators that are culturally competent. Cultural competence ensures students have space and opportunity to talk things through in what they feel is a safe space. Having trusted members on staff is helpful to the vulnerable population.
3. Have workshops with parents about how to identify the signs. If a student is out of sorts, or they aren’t acting like they usually act, parents and educators need to have a heightened sense of what support the child needs.

Bully Prevention:

Incidents like this can are preventable. Educators have to be vigilant. I for one would not want an incident like this to occur on my watch. To prevent an act like this from occurring, I’ll do whatever it takes. Will you? Join me in ensuring bullying ends with Seven.

If this story resonated with you, please share. We have to protect these kids!

Author: Raymond J. Ankrum, Sr.

Mr. Ankrum is the current Superintendent of the Riverhead Charter School. Mr. Ankrum has gained notoriety as a school turnaround expert. He is enthusiastic about helping students from low (SES) find ways to end generational poverty through educational advocacy. If you believe PoC can end generational poverty by exercising educational opportunities, you have an ally in @Mr_Ankrum.

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