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The Lynn Daily Item, April 15, 2010
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BMS Fights Bullying

By Julia Roberts Goad | The Williamson Daily News | Original Article

The academic success of Belfry Middle School can be attributed primarily to the positive
educational culture that we’ve created, Principal Matthew Mercer said. Part of that positive
atmosphere has been created by the school’s attention to preventing bullying.

As part of that effort, a nationally known speaker both entertained and enlightened students about
cyber-bullying last week.

Students at Belfry Middle School heard Josh Gunderson.

Gunderson spoke to students concerning cyber-bullying along with incidents of online predators
and how they use social media to take advantage of their victims.

Gunderson shared tips on how to deal with bullies, communicating online and the importance of
what to share and what to keep private when using and/or interacting with “friends” online.

The presentation also included BMS parents who shared experiences their children and families
endured because of online predators and how they, with the assistance of law enforcement, have
been able to remove such predators from the streets.

Mercer said BMS works to eliminate bullying in the school through several avenues. Guidance
Counselor Karen Mounts has trained student in suicide-prevention, and anonymous “Bully Boxes”
are posted to help target inappropriate threatening behavior.

“In today’s high-tech world keeping students safe means educating kids on the dangers of
cyberspace,” Mercer said. “Our top priority at Belfry Middle is student safety.”