One of the unfortunate topics that receives attention these days is inappropriate ways of communication among some teenagers commonly known bullying in its different forms: physical, verbal, hazing, cyber, sexual, etc. The question has been asked: how does MDHS handle this topic and assist students in dealing with it? Well at MD, we do many things and have many services available to assist students who may have to deal with this unfortunate topic inany of its different forms.
One of the student assemblies of the last school year which left a lasting impact on all in attendance was Rachel’s Challenge. For parents and students who attended, you will remember that the presentation centered around the tragedy of the Columbine High School shootings which took place in 1999. Several young people lost their lives in the tragic event and the parents of Rachel Scott made a decision to remember their daughter Rachel, the outstanding young lady that she was, the great good that she did and the impact that her life could have on the young people of future generations. Thus, Rachel’s Challenge was born.
As a follow-up to that assembly, MDHS in collaboration with the Rachel’s Challenge organization, has established an important club on campus under the direction of faculty advisor, Mrs. Colleen Hall. The title of the club is Rachel’s Challenge and its mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students at MDHS through the development of a “chain reaction” of courage, kindness and compassion knowing that Jesus Christ taught about the importance of love and respect among and for all peoples.
The club members have developed a four year program centered around the themes of courage, compassion, kindness and friendship. This year, under the guidance of the Rachel’s Challenge ASB Commissioners and with the assistance of Performing Arts students, the theme of courage is being addressed with the intent of giving students ways to uphold their integrity and respect when and if confronted by any form of Bullying. Different techniques and ideas are communicated to students via the morning MDTV Show and through further classroom discussions.
In addition to this student led program, MDHS has the professional services of Outreach Concern counselors and interns available to any students who may feel a need to speak with a professional adult about any type of bullying issue. Outreach Concern counselors and interns have been contracted to work at MDHS since the early 1990s and have been very successful in assisting students and parents with various issues. The services of professional psychologists are also available through Outreach Concern and at MD we use these services on a regular basis, particularly when a genuine or serious need arises.
Further services are provided to all students through our professional and credentialed guidance counselors and learning center personnel. We constantly remind students in the different orientations to meet regularly with the professionals in these areas and to seek advice on both academic and personal issues. These professional educators work closely with the psychologists from Outreach Concern when necessary.