RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) - Schools all across the state are ramping up anti-bullying programs in October for National Bullying Prevention month.
News Four visited Mendive Middle School in Sparks to learn more about how lessons being taught in anti-bullying assemblies are being re-enforced in the halls.
Middle school can be an exciting time, but also a scary time, especially if you're being bullied or having trouble fitting in. Recently speakers with Teen Truth Live, an anti-bullying presentation visited Mendive Middle School students.
One 7th grade student said it had a big impact on him. "I kind of learned how to love myself, who I am, respect other people for who they are and not judge them for what has happened to them."
Principal Scott Grange says he has seen Teen Truth Live before at another school and he wanted to bring it to Mendive.
"What Teen Truth is, is trying to build climate and integrity with each individual student and as a school culture make sure they are able to achieve that."
Students say they learned a lot about how to get help if they are being bullied and how to be part of the solution for victims.
8th grade student Maddy Johnson said she came back with some good ideas on how to help victims.
"You could help them, ask them how their day was or ask them if they are okay."
But a school wide exercise done a week after the assembly may have had an even more powerful impact.
It's called truth cards. They are cards worn like name tags one day, and then posted around the school.
Students could write any truth about themselves, some very painful.
Mackenzie Goins says kids wrote about all different types of struggles. “Some parents getting divorced, some parents dying, or not having a home to live in, them being adopted or stuff like that."
Other students chose to write promises about how they would change the school climate to one of support and caring.
Sydney Apel said, “Some people had what they would do to help the school to be better.”
The students say the truth cards have prompted conversations that most likely would not have happened.
“I saw a lot of kids talking to each other about their truth cards and explaining what they had in their lives that affected them," said Israel Casarez.
The principal also said through this exercise his staff was able to learn about students being bullied who had never told anyone and had just held it in.
He says he tries to get across to every student that they can approach any adult on campus with problems they might have.