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Junior Journalist Update from Lincoln Prairie – By Sophia S.

Stand For The Silent (SFTS) was founded in 2010 by Kirk Smalley to bring awareness to bullying and the devastation it causes. There are many chapters throughout the United States dedicated to fighting bullying and standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Now, Lincoln Prairie is organizing its own chapter.

The fire was sparked after Smalley came to Lincoln Prairie to create awareness about how big a problem bullying is and to discuss his organization. After this, middle level teachers Mr. Natrop and Mrs. Vallone were inspired to start a chapter of SFTS at Lincoln Prairie. They decided to start this chapter with the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders first.

To announce this to the students, they created a presentation similar to the one Smalley gave. Students who were interested in getting involved with SFTS then attended a meeting with Mr. Natrop and Mrs. Vallone to discuss what the students wanted the group to accomplish.

“I like the fact that the teachers are willing to allow the students to shape this as needed,” said Isabella, an eighth-grade student who attended the meeting. “It’s by the students and for the students because we know what we need help with and how to help with it. I hope to see a mature student body and less unnecessary drama. Not only will this be marked by groups and the events that support the cause, but it will be shown in the newly developed mindset and values of the student body as a whole.”

“I like how this SFTS chapter helps the outsiders know how to deal with a situation where bullying is involved,” said Bella, a sixth-grader who also went to the meeting. “With this chapter at LP I hope that everyone can realize and understand the different types of bullying. Overall, I really hope we can learn to spread love to others.”

These sentiments seem to be shared by many others who attended the meeting. With the mission of spreading awareness and kindness to others, many students at Lincoln Prairie are ready to tackle bullying head on. This will contribute to a happier school environment for the students, but more importantly, it will help those who have not yet found their voices to be silent no longer.