SARASOTA, Fla -- April 28, 2016 -- 8:30 a.m.
At Brookside Middle School, Sarasota Police School Resource Officer Todd Perna works with students twice a month to hold a KAB meeting = Kids Against Bullying. The KAB acronym was created by Officer Perna. On Friday, April 29, 2016 at 10:30 a.m., members of the media are invited to attend the last meeting of the school year at Brookside Middle, 3636 South Shade Avenue, Sarasota.
During KAB meetings, Officer Perna and students speak to victims and offenders of bullying and students have an opportunity to speak about the effects and consequences of bullying. Students take an active role in combating bullying through peer counseling during the meetings.
“Our club members are the eyes and ears of the Brookside Middle School campus,” said Officer Todd Perna. “Our club members bring any issues to the meetings for discussion and reach out to those students who are involved. We started this club with the intent to curb the amount of bullying happening on campus and it is working.”
Students share incidents that occur on social media and on campus face to face. Since KAB formed in January 2016, Officer Perna has seen a dramatic reduction in the amount of reported incidents on and off campus with students.
KAB has 17 student members and two adult Brookside staff members. The team wears shirts every Friday at school with the KAB logo on them, designed by students. The shirts identify members of KAB so other students can talk with them about bullying or any other conflicts they might have seen or heard about. KAB is working to recruit additional members for the next school year.