Issuing a student survey, developing Public Service Announcements, and establishing a pilot program to help diffuse student conflict are all steps the Mayors’ Bullying Task Force has taken in the last six months to address bullying in the Pierre / Fort Pierre area.
Dennis Pfrimmer, the Task Force Chair, provided the Pierre City Commission with an update of the group’s progress at the City Commission meeting last night.
“We held our first community-wide bullying prevention activity at a Pierre football game last October,” said Pfrimmer. “There will be more events of that nature to come in 2018.”
Pfrimmer also said that because of the work of the Task Force, a number of local youth organizations are incorporating anti-bullying efforts into their programs. Additionally, the Task Force has used a student survey to gather information about bullying, developed anti-bullying messages that have been shared in schools and at sporting events, and developed a pilot Conflict-Resolution Team (CRT) to serve as a resource for families.
“The CRT will work with children who have repeatedly shown aggressive behaviors toward peers,” said Pfrimmer. “The team will provide families with assistance in changing challenging behaviors and reducing the harmful effects of those behaviors.”
“I’m pleased to see the community embracing this effort,” said Pierre Mayor Steve Harding. “I want to thank all the Task Force members for volunteering to make a difference in our community.”
Last August, Pierre Mayor Steve Harding and Fort Pierre Mayor Gloria Hanson established the local Bullying Task Force. The group of about 35 volunteers meets monthly and is developing a Community-wide Prevention Plan and establishing long-term systems to encourage ongoing prevention efforts.