By Billie Dixon
For a week students had been guessing about the acronym BPKO. Wednesday a fun, informative assembly let everyone know it meant Bully Prevention Kick Off.
Teachers working with GEAR-UP and local police informed students about the consequences of bullying, and some high school drama students presented a skit demonstrating various consequences for dealing with a bully, and a successful intervention technique students can use to resolve a situation.
Other high school students produced and presented a video with a similar message. Students in Kim Trayon’s class produced a PowerPoint to highlight the words to a song, “Don’t Laugh at Me.”
Local law enforcement officers directed several rows of students from the stands to come to the gym floor. They represented 20 percent of students from sixth through ninth grade who have participated in bullying at one time. Approximately 60 percent of that group would have at least one criminal conviction by the age of 24, and as much as 35 to 40 percent of the bullying group had three or more convictions by this age, according to Dan Olweus in Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do.
Students also participated in various competitions among groups and with teachers.
Music programs scheduled
Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. finds both the junior high band and choir performing concerts in the newly refurbished high school performing arts center. Franklin Smith, choir director, and Brandon Boerio, band director, invite parents and friends to join the holiday celebration.
MESA students compete
At the Fall Design competition, Portales Junior High students claimed second place in On-Site Math and BYOJ (Bring Your Own Junk) events. They earned forth place in On-Site Surprise and cinched fifth top school at the event. Shareen King, sponsor, meets with students and helps them explore interests in math, engineering, and science.
Students will be completing second quarter tests next Thursday and Friday. The following week they will show their knowledge on the first semester tests. School will dismiss at 1 p.m. on Dec. 17.
Monday finds the girls’ seventh- and eighth-grade “A” teams and the seventh-grade “B” teams hosting Marshall in Portales. The boys’ corresponding teams head to Clovis to challenge Marshall on their home court.
Tuesday finds the boys’ and girls’ eighth-grade “B” teams facing Hobbs in the Portales gyms.
Student council involved
Led by sponsor Amanda Burnett, student council members decked the halls at Portales Junior High to show the spirit of the season. Students will be conducting a canned food drive to support the local food bank.