Paradise Bullying Group

Mar 30, 2011 8:21 PM

For much of America's youth, bullying is an everyday occurrence. Disturbing fights like this one filmed at a park in Paradise last year are common on Youtube. But a group of students at Paradise Intermediate School are hoping to make a difference with a club designed to stop bullying before it starts. " I got tired of everyone bullying each other so knowing that there's other people that thought that way and they were going to start a group, I knew that I wanted be in it because I just want to stop it", said 7th grade student Elle Griffith.
They call themselves The Unity Team. The group of 30 holds meetings during their lunch period, making signs and discussing what problems are prevalent at their school and how they can make positive changes. " I hope people realize that they actually hurt other people and that's not cool", said 7th Grade Student Jose Hernandez.
The group is made up of a mix of students, 10 from each of the 6th, 7th and 8th grades. While some of the students say they've never been the victim of bullying themselves, for others the group touches on issues on a personal level. " I've always been bullied all my life, it's just been constant my entire life, and I love that we're able to try and stop it, it's so great being a part of this group", said 7th grade student Ryan Earl.
And they're all working with one goal in mind. " We are, with everyone, we're accepting, respecting, and embracing, that's the acronym we have for our team", said Teacher and advisor Michael Turf.
Students involved in the group also hope it inspires other schools to take action and put a stop to bullying. " I was just talking with my grandma who's a vice principal at a school in San Francisco and she's thinking about opening one there for that school so I think we're really influencing and may be able to help a lot of people become happier with themselves and with who they are", said Earl.
The group has also begun speaking with younger grades. " We really want that to be abnormal, we want that to be something that's rarely seen at our school", said Paradise Intermediate Vice Principal Kay Paden.


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