Anti-bullying program comes to Rapid City Middle Schools

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - From online - to face-to-face - bullying is an epidemic. In order to combat this issue Rapid City Middle Schools brought in a “bullying expert.”

For more than a decade Chris Scheufele taught music in Texas. But, now he’s singing a slightly different tune with his “Chris in the Classroom” program.

"The topic of bullying was very near and dear to me just because of everything I went through as a kid. We all have a common message and we're just trying to spread it all across the country,” Scheufele.

That message was brought to Rapid City Middle Schools at a time when there is an increased awareness on suicide and suicide prevention.

"Studies show that the majority of suicides aren't due to depression, they're due to the lack of cooping skills. Kids aren't being taught these days how to cope and how to handle the stresses and the pressures of everyday life,” said Scheufele.

"One of the things that I tell kids is we have two choices, we can ignore what's going on or we can report it,” said Mike Deming, North Middle School Assistant Principal.

Scheufele’s advice isn’t new. He urges students to not let words bother them.

"It helps you build that inner resilience, but it also helps give you the social skills to interact with everybody else on a daily basis,” said Scheufele.

And that inner resilience is needed when those hurtful words follow you home VIA social media sites.

"One way our parents can help is get in and get those usernames and passwords from your kids and open up those phones, open up those computers and sit side-by-side with your child. And look at what's being posted,” said Deming.

The program was held at four Rapid City Middle Schools and at Pine Ridge.

For information about the program and Chris Scheufele: Chris in the Classroom