Be a friend, not a bully: A message to Utah students

Governor Gary R. Herbert encouraged Utah students to create a culture of respect and inclusivity in their schools in a video message posted to his Facebook page Tuesday for Bullying Prevention Week.

“Bullying can significantly hamper a student’s ability to learn and develop emotionally,” Gov. Herbert said. “It ends with each of us taking a stand, setting a good example, and being a friend.”

In his video message, the governor advised students to inform a trusted parent or adult “right away” if they witness an incident of bullying or hazing, or are victims themselves. “Don’t ignore it. Instead, be a friend,” he counseled. He also challenged students to pledge to make their school, home and community a place of refuge and inclusion for all individuals.

While most students are kind and respectful toward each other, one out of every four students in Utah will experience bullying this year, according to the Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition. Active kindness and awareness is crucial to creating a safe and positive environment for Utah students.

The Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition provides training programs for school districts across the state and schools are equipped with professional counselors who can assist with behavior intervention and recovery for students who have experienced bullying.

Gov. Herbert declared November 14 – 20, 2016 as Bullying Prevention Week in Utah. Click here to view the declaration.