Howard High School students are taking a stand against bullying, drugs and violence and promoting character building and academics.
The Protect Our House campaign, spearheaded by Principal Matt Adams and student council members, started this week with assemblies featuring community speakers and student performances. The initiative continues through February.
“I feel like we’re taking a proactive approach to maintain a culture that provides strength of character and a culture of respect, honesty and openness,” Adams said. “That’s what we’re about at Howard High School and part of the Bibb County school district -- core values.”
The campaign is an effort to build on the good things at Howard High School and improve the bad, junior class president Joanne Wu said.
“We want to see Howard a really safe place,” she said.
In 2010, the Georgia Legislature passed a measure that required all school districts to update their anti-bullying policies. The new law defined the scope of bullying and requires school systems to work with faculty, parents and students to adopt and enforce anti-bullying policies.
Superintendent Romain Dallemand, a guest speaker for Wednesday’s assembly for sophomores, encouraged students to have a focus, study hard and never give up on their goals.
“The decisions you’re making today will have a profound impact on the rest of your life,” he told students.
Those who get involved with crime tend to have low educational achievement, said Robert Martin, executive director of Macon Regional CrimeStoppers.
“Don’t fall into that trap,” Martin said. “You guys are given the opportunity to come here every day and learn and receive an education all the way up to the 12th grade. Take advantage of that, and then also take advantage of furthering your education.”
Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones also spoke to students in a black-and-white-striped jail uniform, telling them to stay in school and out of jail.
If not, the consequences could be deadly, he said, showing the students a brand-new body bag.
“This is what you have when you make bad choices -- a jail suit like I have on or a body bag like in my left hand.”
To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 744-4331.