Following recent gun incidents that have plagued the county school system, the Dumbarton Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association is taking a proactive approach against bullying through a new campaign.
On Nov. 7, the association is presenting the Rachel's Challenge, which focuses on anti-bullying and creating an atmosphere of kindness, during a daytime school assembly, said Ann Shenasky, a vice president of the group. Dumbarton parents are invited to learn more about the the initiative during an evening program at the school auditorium, which starts at 7 p.m. the same day.
"It's about treating everyone with respect and kindness, and feeling positive about yourself," she said. "We want students to know we're there for them."
Shenasky noted that the middle school years are a precarious time for students as they start to mature physically and emotionally.
"A lot of my daughter's peer group don't always feel good about themselves," she said. "They just want to fit it, and it's hard sometimes."
As part of the program, students are also performing community service through the school's Community Kindness Challenge.
"It's about creating a chain reaction of kindness," Shenasky said."[Students] can be the change they wish to see."