On January 6, 2018, the Sarah Wise Wooten Young Ladies Academy (SWWYLA) engaged in an insightful and timely workshop highlighting the importance of bullying prevention. With social media applications such as Instagram and the constant communication exchange among the adolescent community, our young men and women are exposed to bullying and its consequences at an increasing rate. Understanding this reality, SWWYLA committee members used the January workshop as an opportunity to engage in a candid dialogue with program participants about bullying, its presence both online and in schools, as well as measures that can be taken to stand against the act.
Lauren Hilliard, a Prince George’s County Public School Administrator and subject matter expert, joined the workshop to share an anti-bullying presentation and facilitate group activities that challenged participants to reflect on their own personal experiences with bullying and how it affected them either directly or indirectly. The group worked together to define and identify signs of bullying, analyze reasons why people engage in bullying, and examine the different roles that are involved (i.e. bully, victim, bystander, helper). The interactive program ended with the formation of a “sister circle,” an exchange of words of affirmation, and the reciting of an anti-bullying pledge.