Criminal justice class educates middle schoolers on bullying
Seventeen eighth-grade classes at Vicente S.A. Benavente Middle School signed a pledge against bullying following an outreach effort by University of Guam students this semester. The effort was a project of the Criminal Justice Capstone class, in which 17 criminal justice students developed a presentation to inform students of the various types of bullying and its harmful and sometimes lasting effects.
"As kids, we often witnessed others being bullied, or we ourselves were bullied. Some of us, at one point, may have been the bully," said Gemma-Lisa U. Raigelig, chairperson for the capstone project. "[...] The purpose of this project is to bring awareness in schools that bullying is bad for everyone and to encourage students, teachers, and school officials to proactively promote and sustain a no-bullying culture."
In their presentation, the criminal justice students taught that bullying can be physical, verbal, social, prejudicial, sexual, or occur online as cyberbullying. Victims suffer physical, mental, and emotional harm, often with long-lasting effects reflected in anger, frustration, anxiety, fear, depression, and low self-esteem. "Bullies themselves may be driven by these feelings," Raigelig said.
The capstone class said they were impressed with the middle school students' interest and participation in the topic.
"Their willingness to listen and grasp the information we delivered proved to us that these students, at young ages, want to learn and do what is right. This is most satisfying proof that the project was a success," Raigelig said.
Vicente S.A. Benavente Middle School Principal Freda Arii said that the project was very timely.
"Considering that bullying is a broad topic, it is important for the students to know the types of bullying that can happen," Arii said. "We, as a school, are glad that the students from UOG came to teach and bring awareness of what bullying is to our eighth-grade students. We want to thank the presenters of Spring 2022 Criminal Justice Capstone class for their hard work and support."