Wellness Program Story imageThe poster above shows the promotional phrase for the movie BULLY, a documentary in which five stories were brought to light and the victims were given justice.

New wellness program aims to increase overall attitude of student body, decrease instances of bullying

by karihighman, ’13

“It’s time to take a stand.”

Those words, printed on the many promotional posters for the 2011 movie BULLY, a documentary that tells the stories of five bullying victims in American schools, still reign true today. According to the movie’s official website, 13 million kids in the United States will be bullied this year. In light of this startling statistic, UAHS is starting a new Wellness Committee.

According to assistant principal Andrew Theado, the Wellness Committee was created to promote good overall energy in the school and to help with the emotional and mental issues that often result from bullying. The focus of the committee this year is nutrition, fundraising, health, physical fitness and activity, as well as communication.

He also noted that the organization is meant to help other clubs, such as Link Crew, maintain a positive attitude within the student body.

“A lot of groups are promoting good behavior,” Theado said.

Although the Wellness Committee is a new addition to the high school, the

idea first came into the district

by law in 2006 under former President

George W. Bush’s Child Nutrition Act. According to program adviser Jodi Palmer, the law stated that every school district needed to have a wellness policy in place.

The first meeting of the committee was held Sept. 10, where staff members, teachers and parents met to talk about their goals for the academic year.

According to Theado, realizing that UAHS isn’t exempt from bullying is also a vital step in putting an end to the issue.

“We’re not immune,” Theado said. “One person being bullied is a problem.”

Junior Catt Perry can relate to this problem, as she is a former victim of bullying.

“People [were] constantly [talking] about me behind my back. I was always being made fun of and shunned. I felt inferior to the other kids in school,” she said.

For Perry, the worst bullying came from the people she thought would never belittle her.

“[I had a] friend that said, ‘You’re such a freak, you have no friends and there’s a reason for that,” she said. “One day she’d act like my best friend, the next like I didn’t

exist. She called me a b—- and a whore, and other insults like that.”

Perry said she hopes the committee will help to decrease the instances of bullying that occur at the high school.

“[I hope that it will help people find] ways to cope with bullying, using words and actions,” she said. “[Being bullied] is nothing to be ashamed of. It was a learning experience [for me]. It made me realize who my true friends are,” she said.

Perry also noted that she wants the program to allow people to talk about their problems and the scars that bullying may have left behind.

“[Students can help by] reaching out to other kids,” she said.