The below information comes from District 112.
seventh grade social studies students got a visit from a high-profile guest last Friday when Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan came to serve on a guest panel that heard the students present research about bullying.
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The students conducted their research as part of the Project Citizen Program, a national program designed to teach civics education by having students identify a community issue, research it and propose possible solutions. This is the 11th year that Elm Place students have participated in Project Citizen, and the second year in a arrow that they chose bullying as their focus. Highland Park resident Dr. Mark Nolan Hill has coordinated Project Citizen at Elm Place since its inception.
Students worked in small groups to create websites about the issue of bullying at Elm Place, that included original research, along with proposed solutions and public service announcements aimed at addressing the issue. They presented their findings to a panel that along with Madigan and Nolan Hill included , Highland Park Police Chief Paul Shafer, psychologist Richard markin, Madigan aide Sarah Migas, Geoff Gluck and North Shore School District 112 Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Matt Barbini.
“I was impressed by your proposed solutions,” Madigan told the students, particularly by the idea of using the school’s daily morning announcements to discuss the issue and keep it at the forefront of student’s minds.
When students were given the opportunity to ask questions of Madigan, one boy asked if bullying existed when she was a kid. “Truth be told,” she replied, “seventh grade is the worst it gets, and there have always been cliques, and kids being mean to each other.” The difference between then and now, she said, is that when she grew up, you could escape from it when you went home. “No one could text you mean things or post something anonymously on Facebook,” she said. “Today, there’s no way to get away from it, and every single day our kids are encountering cyberbullying.”