Princetown Middle works with students to put an end to bullying - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Princeton Middle works with students to put an end to bullying

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We're approaching the two year mark since a Mercer County boy died, reportedly after he was bullied.

The death of Dalton Walker, an 11-year-old student at Princeton Middle School set into motion a series of policy changes aimed at cracking down on bullies.

In Mercer County, a special speaker talked to students and administrators Wednesday about the impact bullying has on people. Doug Reavis addressed students at Glenwood and Princeton Middle School.

His message draws from his personal experience of growing up with a brain damaged brother. Reavis motivated and encouraged students to realize how beneficial one compliment or even a smile can make on their peers.

"All it takes is one negative word or sentence and it can really cut and hurt, but it also only takes one or two positive words to lift up your whole day. What we try to do is encourage the kids to choose the positive words as often as possible," Reavis said.

The effect of bullying is greater now than it ever has been, due to increased portals to do so.

"If someone says something negative online, it's there for the whole world to see and it doesn't go away, when we were little if someone said something on the playground, that's it you go home," he told us.

Just one word, for good or bad, can greatly impact a child.

"Our words have the power to destroy lives and they have the power to breathe life into people. We hope they chose the latter more often than the first," Reavis added.

For the past year and a half, Princeton Middle has put into place many educational opportunities for their students and staff on anti-bullying efforts.

"Our teachers in classes are sharing lessons about character education and trying to educate students. We begin each day with a message that has to do with how we treat one another and character education," Princeton Middle Principal Danny Buckner told us.

Silent Strength began a year and a half ago. Reavis delivers his message to schools throughout our region.