Crestview board member takes aim at bullying

NEW WATERFORD — Concerns over students not feeling welcome at school due to bullying by their peers has prompted Crestview Board of Education member Brayden Tucker to take some action.

During last week’s meeting, Tucker announced he is forming a committee to look at ways to address the problem even better. Tucker said he believes no matter where someone lives, their income, or who their social circle may be “if you are in Crestview, you matter to me.”

“Although we have many accomplishments here at Crestview, I am very sorry to say, that I believe we are missing the target on a very vital issue … bullying.”

Tucker said he would like to see the group beginning meeting next school year, comprised of people throughout the Crestview community, students, staff, parents and other adults who want to make a difference or be a positive mentor. By putting their heads together, Tucker said he hopes they can find a few more solutions to creating a better atmosphere for everyone at Crestview. Throughout the summer Tucker hopes to develop the special weekly night workshop as a place where there will be group activities, movies, guest speakers and other productive ideas to aid in resolving the bullying issue.

“I can’t guarantee the success that we will or will not have,” Tucker wrote in a statement to the board. “All I can guarantee is a safe and positive night, where all are welcome. If we can better the life of one child, then it is a success to me.”

Later during the meeting, board student liaison Danny Moore shared one of the things he has done to make others feel welcome. Moore, who is also a student athlete, said when a student he did not know recently joined the team and did not seem to be fitting in, he made it a point to go talk to him. Others soon did the same and now the new member of the team seems to be enjoying the experience more.

“Everyone has something people will like about them,” Moore said, adding his solution for reducing people not feeling apart of the group is to “have people who don’t have problems with bullying or being shy to reach out.”

During her report to the board, Marian Dangerfield asked Tucker to count her in for the committee.

“It’s the number one barrier to learning, when students don’t feel safe,” Dangerfield said.

At the beginning of the meeting, the board presented the Rebel Pride award to another student working to make others feel good about their studies and welcome at school. Josh Black was honored for spending the past two years helping out with the younger Rebels at the Homework Club. Doris Buzzard, who made the presentation to Black, said the younger students love Josh and she depends on him to help them especially with math, which is his strongest subject. Although he’s more than completed enough community service hours, Buzzard said Black has missed one session of the Homework Club in two years. The club provides tutoring for students, assistance with homework and test preparation.