Chatham, VA - A local middle school is taking a very visible stand against bullying.
Each Chatham Middle School student has added their name to a large banner that says "I Will Not Bully Other Students."
"Officer Hill got us to put our names on it and people who did that are honoring the bulletin and they are saying stop the bullying, " said sixth grader Olivia Davis.Students like Davis have chosen to take a stand against bullying with new initiate started by Deputy Michael Hill.
"Probably all of us have been bullied at one time or another while in school and it just creates so many problems and causes problems later on in life for you," Hill said.
Hill cites studies that show boys identified as bullies in middle school, are 4 times more likely to have a criminal conviction by age 24.
He wants to change that, and students there think the bulletin board is a great way to bring attention to the issue.
"I think it's really cool how they did it. It is kind of like a trust code, " said seventh grader Walter Sease.
If a student is reported for bullying, his or her name is removed from the board.
"This provides a visual component for them to be reminded each day as far as their commitment to their peers, " said Principal Cedric Hairston.
Nobody's name has come down yet. Hill is hoping with continued education, it stays that way.
"That's the message I want to send, that we're not going to tolerate it at Chatham Middle School at all, " Hill said.
Soon, Hill will select a few "deputies" of his own within the student body to keep their eyes and ears open in the halls, and bring other issues among students to light.