, 33, of Lititz has noticed a severe decrease in discipline referrals regarding bullying during his
three years as Annville Cleona Middle/High School's
"I wish we had the category, prior to even my time here, so we could compare statistically, but I would estimate at least a 60 percent drop in bullying and harassment," he
credits this reduction in bullying to the school's Positive Peer Pressure Team
, a student group that discusses ways they can help prevent bullying.
predicts that the PPP
Team's growth will continue."The very first student group that started it are now ninth-graders, and our goal is for them to start a ninth-grade group" said Marin
."So by the time they graduate, there will be a group in each grade level."
Among its accomplishments, the PPP
Team created a Bully Box, which allows students to anonymously notify Marin
that someone may be bothering another student, and requested language changes in the student handbook.
"They met with me in May of last year and asked that 'bully' be spelled out," said Marin
, adding that he
uses the team's suggested "bully" definition when dealing with student bullies.
"I like to read the definition out loud to a student and
say, 'Now you tell me why you don't fit that?' " he
explained.When they hear themselves being labeled as a bully, Marin
continued, many will take it as a wake-up call and stop their behavior.
said the school has three teams in all, and the teachers on each team "virtually meet everyday."
In addition, both Annville-Cleona and Palmyra provide assemblies to educate their teachers about bullying.Palmyra also presents an assembly at which the entire student body watches a Camfel Productions video titled "It's My Responsibility," which encourages students to keep the staff informed about what's going on at the school.
While their schools are prepared to deal with bullying, neither Marin nor Hoffman view possible state intervention on the issue positively.
"I don't think there's any school administrator that likes to be micromanaged by the state," said Marin