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Live Oak counselors take on the bullies
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Tomeka Stringer and Dana Price, counselors at Live Oak Elementary, have taken the initiative to stop bullying before it happens in their school.

After receiving a $2,000 grant from Re-Imagine Newton, Stringer and Price are planning a series of parent and student workshops and an anti-bullying awareness week for the next school year.

Even though both say that bullying was not a prominent issue at Live Oak, Price said that they wanted to "raise the level of consciousness."

"It's more about being proactive than reactive," Price said.

The most effective tool to stop bullying is education, said Price and Stringer. By knowing what bullying really is, parents can better assist their children when a situation arises.

The program will teach the children how to be "bully proof," Price said. It will teach students how to identify bullying and how they can diffuse the situation themselves.

"It lets kids know that [they] do have power over bullying too," Price said.

The program will also help student identify whether a person is a bully, victim or bystander and how to respond.
When Stringer and Price talk with students about bullies, the students usually describe a bully as big, bald and male, said Price.

"[A bully] comes young, old, male, female. Anybody can be a bully," Price said. "There are some adult bullies."
Stringer said for parents, communication is key when it comes to helping their child with a bully.

"Listen and communicate to them," Stringer said. "Explain to them its OK to talk to an adult."

It's important that parents let their children know to tell an adult when they are being bullied.

"A lot of the time they don't know that the adults don't know something is going on if you don't tell," Stringer said.