The Mayors of Pierre and Fort Pierre are both calling attention to bullying prevention this month by signing proclamations that encourage community members to engage in activities that make the communities safer.
“A number one priority for any community is nurturing an environment that makes people feel comfortable and safe,” said Pierre Mayor Steve Harding. “By drawing attention to the issue, I’m hopeful that we can stub out instances of bullying.”
Fort Pierre Mayor Gloria Hanson also spoke about fostering a respectful environment. “As government agencies, businesses, schools and families, we must promote cultures of civility. During bullying prevention month especially, I encourage people to consider their actions and the impact those actions have on others.”
October is national Bullying Prevention Month, but the Pierre and Fort Pierre communities are working throughout the year to identify and implement solution to prevent bullying. This work is being accomplished through the work of a Bullying Prevention Task Force named earlier this year by Mayors Harding and Hanson.
The Task Force is comprised of three volunteer committees –Awareness, Prevention, and Response. These groups are developing surveys to inform local bullying issues, developing awareness activities and developing materials to help respond to instances of bullying. The group of 30 volunteers meets semi-monthly with a primary goal of developing a Community-wide Prevention Plan.
The Task Force is managed by Capital Area Counseling Service. Committee chairs are:
- Awareness Committee: Dr. Joel Price, Superintendent of Stanley County Schools
- Prevention Committee: Becky Spoehr, Director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Capital Area
- Response Committee: Pastor Craig Wexler, Lutheran Memorial Church; Dave Panzer, Pierre Police Chief