By Meaghen Carter & Logan Holman
Chargers Against Ridicule, Meanness and Aggression, also known as CARMA, is a new program in the making at DHS.
It is an anti-bullying seminar which includes multiple activities and events that were created by a group of administrators. Assistant principal Amy Slabaugh is one of the main driving forces trying to get CARMA in motion.
“All of the other administrators seemed to get fired up about it and it’s just about timing,” Slabaugh said.
With the right funding, there are already plans for students at DHS to attend an assembly and an anti-cyber bullying activity, with the hope of more in the making. This will take place in April before the week of April 16.
“We were looking for an exciting attention grabber, something new,” Slabaugh said.
Similar anti-bullying and non-violence programs were a part of elementary and middle schools. The transition to high school seems to have left these types of programs behind. This is one of the reasons CARMA was created.
“It’s been a while since we’ve drawn attention to the fact that not everyone treats everybody the way we should,” Slabaugh said.
The average elementary school or middle school lectures didn’t seem to have a long lasting effect on high school students. Slabaugh is very aware of this and plans to spice it up a little.
“Give [the week of non-violence/ bullying prevention] a bit of an edge” Slabaugh said.
Slabaugh doesn’t just wants students to go and watch an hour long assembly and forget the whole thing a minute later. She wants students to be interactive and learn some tactics to help them for the rest of their lives.
“[CARMA is] something kids would want to buy into and be a part of,” Slabaugh said.
DHS is known for its strong stance against bullying in any way, shape or form.The administrators plan to teach what to do in certain scenarios, which is one of the goals of CARMA
“We’d like to provide some opportunities for some very real training in being more assertive, having an awareness of when it’s happening, when people are being mistreated, and then what we can do to help support each other to make our school experience safer,” Slabaugh said.
The main goal is to establish a set of life skills on how to diffuse certain situations.
Students can use these skills not just in DHS but also in typical, everyday situations.
“We want to have individuals that are going to be supportive of each other, not just at Dow High, but as you go out in the real world,” Slabaugh said. “When you’re out representing, when you’re out dealing with things you’re going to come across situations that are tough to deal with, people that are tough to deal with, and you need to know how to respond in an appropriate way and be the best we can be.”
People are everywhere and it’s impossible to go into public and avoid society. This is why Slabaugh believes that this event will help students in situations they may face on a day-today basis.
“An experience that will generalize into when you go to the mall or when you go to the grocery store when you’re dealing with people all the time,” Slabaugh said.
As of now, CARMA is a plan in the making. Slabaugh has hopes of this turning into an annual event for students at DHS.
“This may carry over in the years to come where we will actually have some roleplaying and local agencies to help us do some activities,” Slabaugh said.
These activities may include role-playing while learning about the impact of cyber-bullying. Local counseling agencies and previous school counselors may be a part of the program as well.
“We haven’t done it in a while, so we wanted to draw attention to it,” Slabaugh said. “And times have changed so much that we need to address different issues.”
CARMA is a program that will significantly impact DHS and is sure to have a positive influence for the students.
“[Slabaugh] is working very hard,” assistant principal Ted Davis said. “She has put in a lot of time, trying to get everything going.”