At Christopher Columbus High School there is a club that helps make the very concept of the word bullying aware to others. This club is known as the Stand for the Silent Club and it was organized right here by teachers, Steve O’Brien and Richard Pelegrín.
Stand for the Silent first started in Oklahoma and it was created in order to try to bring awareness to the word bullying in its many forms, whether it be verbal or physical, and try to prevent it from happening. Bullying can happen to ANYONE, ANYWHERE whether it be a high school boy being teased in the locker room or a middle school girl being cyber bullied on the Internet.
What really got O’Brien motivated to start this club was a story Pelegrín told him that currently remains confidential. The two men organized this club last year around April and started with roughly ten members. During the course of last year the club progressed efficiently with 30 members. At the first meeting they had this year more than 50 members signed up!
In terms of the club’s ambition, Mr. O’Brien explains, “I don’t think young people realize the harm they can do inadvertently by posting stuff on the Internet that can have a long term effect on the well-being and security of young people. A lot of stuff happens not because they’re cruel because they don’t understand the potential of the Internet and the potential of just saying something that is unkind.”
Stand for the Silent has proved to be a major benefit to campus life as the club has had three or four “tips” that they were able to resolve where both parties were appeased, and no longer had any long-term negative feeling towards each other. Both O’Brien and Pelegrín believe that all Columbus students are instinctively good natured young men, and that through understanding and education, Columbus has potential to become an even better environment for everyone.