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By Tanae Howard

(Aug. 11, 2014) – It’s time to step up for kindness in an effort to take on bullying in our schools.

This year, the state legislature passed a law that every school in our state has to provide a bully prevention program, policy procedure and protocols against bullying.

To help break the cycle of violence in Indianapolis, the Social Health Association of Indiana is launching a new anti-bullying program for students kindergarten through eighth grade. The program will be implemented in central Indiana school districts, including Indianapolis Public Schools. The program is expected to reach more than 30,000 students.

Leader with SHA will be trained under an anti-bullying program developed by Dr. Allan Beane, who’s in Indianapolis to teach the adults how to implement the program to students. The program includes lesson plans and parent education. It also focuses on how to make students comfortable when reporting incidents of bullying.

After the adults are versed in the program, SHA staff will go into local schools teaching those lessons. Central Indiana students will take a four-hour bullying prevention course.

“It’s destructive to the wellbeing of kids and it’s robbing them of their childhood and its creating very unsafe environments,” Beane said. “And what people need to realize is, it’s not only in the schools, it’s everywhere. It’s in the community. This is a community problem. And that’s why the community needs to help this association and the schools to do everything they can to prevent and stop this from happening in school.”

The Step-Up for Kindness anti-bullying program was made possible through a charitable contribution from Impact 100 of Greater Indianapolis.