On Friday, January 13th, the students and faculty came together as a school to root for the Lady Tigers but also to show their Tiger Pride in support of the Green Dot program being implemented this year in each of the high schools in Calhoun County.
Acoording to Green Dot Coordinator Vicki Bennett, “The Green Dot program is a Bystander Intervention Program for Violence Prevention. The goal of Green Dot is to create an enviroment in whcih our schools do not tolerate power-based personal violence and everyone is expected to do their part.”
She went on to explain, “The Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program recognizes that most people care about power-based personal violence but don’t have the tools to know how to be part of the solution. Our students are invited to attend a 6 hour training to teach them about being a Green Dot bystander by using what is called the 3 D’s: Direct, Delegate, or Distract. The program uses the concept of the Green Dot (actions, behaviors, or choices taken to prevent power-based violence).
The acts of violence are refered to as Red Dots. The idea is that whenever we talk about violence, bullying, dating violence, cyber-bullying for example - that generally there are several people along the way that knew something about it. We want to engage our students to think about how they can intervene in realistic ways.”
Bonnie Wertenberger, PAEC Supervisor who was instrumental in securing the grant for Calhoun County stated, “The Green Dot program was the first program that really focussed not on the victim, but on the bystander. The program helps the bystander know how to step in and intervene in a safe way to prevent other people from engaging in potentioally harmful behaviors. We are providing our students with the skills and training they need to potentially step in to a negative situation and prevent something from happening.”
Tyler Wertenberger is a facilitator with Green Dot and he shared, “We talk with our students about how we may never need to be reactive but being proactive is also part of keeping our schools safe. If a new student arrived at our school, how would they know that violence would not be tolerated and everyone has to do their part?”