Editorial: Start discussion about bullying with contest

Published 8:36 pm Monday, October 8, 2018

Twenty-eight percent.

That’s the percentage of U.S. students in grades six through 12 who have experienced bullying, according to the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics.

This month, during National Bullying Prevention Month, we seek to raise awareness of the impact of bullying and to start the discussion of what we can do in our community to eliminate it from our schools and workplaces.

To encourage conversation by school-age children, the Tribune is hosting an essay and coloring contest for Albert Lea students in pre-K through 12th grade.

Pre-K through second-graders have the chance to participate in a coloring contest, and the remaining age groups are asked to write essays based on the following writing prompts:

• Third through fifth grade: Why is it awesome to be different?

• Sixth and seventh grade: How do you personally define empathy, and what does that look like in your school day?

• Eighth through 12th grade: When trying to prevent bullying or when you see someone else being bullied, what are the things adults should be doing to help? How do you expect your peers to act to help? What responsibilities fall on your shoulders to prevent bullying or to deal with bullying you see happening?

We ask that parents, too, take advantage of the opportunity to talk about this important subject with their children and make a more concerted effort to be good examples themselves of treating others with respect.

Entries will be accepted through Oct. 27, and the top three in each category will be published in the Oct. 27 issue of the Tribune. The first-place winner in each category will receive a prize.

Entries can be turned in at the Tribune office at 808 W. Front St. or by email at sarah.kocher@albertleatribune.com.

We look forward to seeing the entries.