As the school year entered its third quarter at Overland Trail Middle School, the winter doldrums were beginning to take their toll on students and educators alike, said Gabrianne Rickard, LMSW, a school-based social worker.
Based at Overland Trail through a partnership with Children’s Mercy Kansas City, Rickard works as a team with two school counselors to serve 580 students across grades sixth through eighth. At the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, Overland Trail rolled out RED CARD, a joint campaign created by Children’s Mercy and Sporting Kansas City to encourage kids, teens and adults to speak up against bullying.
Being bullied, or constantly picked on doesn’t feel good. It can feel isolating, lonely, confusing and awful. Unfortunately, kids all around Kansas City have experienced bullying and cyberbullying. But, they aren’t alone. Sporting Kansas City players recently sat down with Nate Bukaty, the television and radio play-by- play voice of Sporting KC, and a few local students to talk about bullying and how they too, have experienced bullying and how they overcame it.
According to Banneker Elementary School Counselor Monique Young, conflicts and cyberbullying had become disruptive in many classrooms, threatening the learning environment. Banneker had not implemented an anti-bullying campaign because many other programs didn’t seem to be culturally appropriate for the school’s inner-city student population and didn’t reflect students’ experiences.
Though classes became virtual in March 2020, bullying did not stop. When the Fall 2020 semester began, Monique recognized the need for an anti-bullying campaign still existed and connected with Red Card to implement the campaign.
Self-esteem begins to develop in early childhood when children start to develop their sense of self. As children begin to understand and know who they are, they start to identify the key qualities and aspects of themselves. Self-esteem plays an important role in early development and continues to be impacted over the course of development for a child.