Bullying might be more prevalent among middle and high school students, but Lake Forest Elementary School parents, teachers and staff aren't waiting until then.
The school on Friday wrapped up Bully Free Week, five days of education about how to reduce bullying put on by the LFE Parent-Teacher Organization.
"We found very little information and support that was geared toward elementary school students so we decided to make our own videos and handouts tailored to our student population," said Jennifer Boynton, PTO vice president. "We started small a few months before school ended last year. A group of parent volunteers donated their time and resources over the summer and painted our handball walls will our new slogan."
The week-long Bully Free campaign, which began Oct. 1, was a "huge success," Boynton said.
"Teachers and students alike have already noticed a difference in the students' attitudes and behaviors toward each other," she said.
Each day had a different focus, from an emphasis on random acts of kindness to instructions as to how to give a meaningful apology.
At the culmination of the week, the entire school donned "Bully Free" T-shirts gifted to students and staff by the PTO and headed outside for a photo to commemorate the week.
"We will be reinforcing this campaign all year long with a focus each month on a different character trait," Boyton said. "Students are asked to wear their purple shirts the last Friday of each month to keep their commitment to a Bully Free school."
Families can find on the school's website a number of video clips about how to prevent bullying, which the PTO encourages parents to watch and discuss with their children.