Students, trained as Safe School ambassadors, target bullying
MIDDLETOWN — Some 40 Middletown High School students and 11 members of the school’s faculty and staff, completed the Safe School Ambassador training program held at the MHS library/media center on Sept. 21 and 22.
The training was led by Eric Ruben, from Community Matters, an anti-bullying organization based in California. The organization describes itself as a researchbased coalition focused on improving school climate and reducing bullying at all levels of education.
Adviser Mary-Ellen Molski, an English teacher at MHS, said the 40 new students joined the 35 who were already in the organization and who received training last May.
“The 75 students, who make up a group called Dragon Watch, are now recognized as Safe School Ambassadors and have been trained to recognize students in trouble and to intervene appropriately,” Molski said.
In addition to the students, faculty who received training included Kendra Dickinson, Natasha Faulkenberry, Michael Kingsbury, Daniel Lowry and Rob Smernoff, guidance counselors Bethsaida Franco and Kim Lane, paraprofessionals Thomas Russell and Andre Bishop, campus safety official Joshua Cofield and Dean of Students Omaris Journet.
The group also attended a Unity Rally run by Empower Athletes on Oct. 5, and on Oct. 19, MHS will host motivational speaker Aaron Polansky from Boston who has expertise in the areas of restorative justice and student inclusivity/interdependence.
“I saw Mr. Polansky speak two years ago at a Boston conference and his ideas were very exciting,” Molski said. “He will be discussing responsibility, behavior, student activism relative to bullying and standing against it, and matters of social justice.”
In addition to the 75 students in Dragon Watch, there are now 20 MHS faculty and staff who have received training.