At summit, Clark Middle students take steps to surmount bullying
Aaron Pascar has a story to tell.
"I was a bully and I was bullied," he said. "Me and my friends before this we liked to laugh, pick on kids and sometimes start fights," Pascar recalled.
Times have changed for the Clark Middle School eighth-grader.
"Whenever the kid I was targeting left, I wondered what happened to him," Pascar said. "After that, I had nothing to boost myself off of and it made me realize what I was doing was wrong."
Pascar and others shared their stories during the first Ultimate Anti-Bully Community Summit at Clark Middle School, where Pascar is now one of the Clark Informers.
The Informers travel around the community to educate others about important topics, holidays, observances and people, presenting their findings at Clark Middle School and to the general public. Members encourage classmates not to remain silent when it comes to bullying.
Kailene Vea-Spencer is another Informer.
"It's OK to stand up for those people, because we never know when we could be in that kind of situation," she said.
She started to speak up shortly after she attended Clark Middle School.
"I started to see some of the same things I saw in elementary school. I realized, what if this happens in high school or like when I'm around in public? And it's something I don't want to continue to see," Vea-Spencer said.
Administrators say the fastest growing form of bullying doesn't take place on campus. The school's campus resource officer said many of the problems deal with cyberbullying. Anchorage School Board president Starr Marsett blames it on social media.
"That has become almost the life of our students. You can't do anything now without it being out there on social media so everyone can see it," Marsett said.
Unfortunately, there is not much the district can do when cyberbullying takes place off campus. That's where the Informers come into play.
"It takes a lot of courage to step up and have a voice at such a young age. I think it's great," said Rowena Vidal, whose daughter, Kyndle Limones is an Informer.
Pascar said he now encourages others to stand up and speak out to help end bullying at his school and the others in the district.
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