Midland Police Take Anti-Bullying Campaign to Area Schools

By Abby Reed
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Midland police say bullying is a problem in the Basin. Now, law enforcement and local schools are working to curb the problem before it escalates.

Keep your hands to yourself - those are the words from Midland Police who are taking their anti-bullying campaign to area schools. On Tuesday, they spoke to third, fourth, and fifth graders at Burnet Elementary.

"They're seeing a lot a videos, dealing with cell phones and computers. That has brought into our school, just different problems that we are needing to deal with," School Counselor, Celina Rodriguez, said.

To combat the problem, the school brought in Midland Police, who spoke to more than 200 students, discussing the in's and out's of bullying.

"We're trying to make a difference, while they are in elementary, before it's too late," Officer Jimmy Young said.

Rodriguez asked the department to come to her school, to help target not only the bullies, but their victims.

"I've been here 11 years so I know a lot of the kids and their families, so, they are more, now, coming to me and able to speak. A lot of them just don't want to lose their friends," Rodriguez said.

Officer Jimmy Young says, through his program, he's discovering that bullying may be more of a problem in the Basin, than he and other officers initially thought.

"Apparently it is, because all these schools we go talking to, these kids are raising their hands, saying they're being bullied, or (asking) what should they do if they're being bullied," Young said.

Young's program is simple. He says he encourages students to focus less on conflict and more on education.

"Just keep their hands to themselves, focus on school work and leave each other alone," Young said.

The police department's program isn't exclusive to just Burnet Elementary. The department tries to put these on at several elementary schools across Midland. Their goal is to not only warn bullies that what they are doing is illegal, but to also let their victims know, it's okay to come forward.