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CCISD Bullyproof project gives students the tools to deal with bully behaviors

Posted at 7:19 AM, Apr 05, 2019
Bullying occurs everywhere, which is why the one CCISD police officer is making the rounds at elementary schools to talk about bullying and respect.

The presentation aims to educate the students at an early age.

This movement is set up to help students at Zavala elementary and other CCISD schools learn ways to stay safe and help end bullying.

Corpus Christi ISD Police Sgt. Janelle Cantu started the “Bullyproof” project two years ago to help students recognize bullying and promote good decision making.

“The curriculum itself, we talk about goal setting, making good decisions, how to be a better person, how to be kind, and what to do when you are in situations where you have to make a decision, and sometimes those decisions are really hard,” said Cantu.

Cantu, who has been with the district 15 years, says she watched bullying happen to others, which has enhanced her approach as a school police officer.

“Seeing kids coming into my office, going to the counselors, wondering what they can do, why is bullying happening, why is it going on, can they really make a stand? Is there a way or something we can do as adults to help them,” said Cantu.

While physical and emotional bullying have always existed, cyberbullying is a newer phenomena that can happen beyond the schoolyard.

“Cyberbullying right now is very tough to deal with. The thing to get them to understand, it doesn’t matter, it might be easy to do it online on a computer, but they have to understand it is affecting somebody. It is not only affecting them, and they might feel good about it, or think it is really funny, but there is a person on the other side of that computer that it is affecting,” said Cantu.

This program sets students up for success by teaching them how to handle difficult social situations. It provides students with strategies and background knowledge so they have the tools to deal with bully behaviors.

“School is a good thing; math, reading, all that is a good thing. But really, I created it to give them some tools to use when they are going through life in order to help them make good decisions. Things they might encounter during life, and not only in school or school settings,” said Cantu.

Not only do participants recite the creed, they also graduate at the end of the session and receive certificates.

“We, as adults, educators, their parents, we cannot stop bullying. We can give them the tools, show them the way, give them support, but only they can stop it. Only they, themselves, can make a stand to stop it,” said Cantu.

The mission, the goal for Cantu is to have this “Bullyproof” project in place at all the CCISD elementary schools.