York County student journalists tackle bullying, school safety

Student newspapers from around the county often land on my desk, and I like flipping through to see what future journalists are up to.

Central York High School’s January student newspaper had a special section on bullying.

Today, I found a copy of The Prowler from Central York High School. Inside, there are several pages labeled a “special edition” on  bullying.

There’s a story from a student with cerebral palsy talking about experiences with bullying, a story from a senior who made bullying the focus of a video he entered in the computer fair last year. There’s a story on bullying through social media, an explanation of how students can report bullying incidents, and a few anonymous student accounts of bullying.

I’m impressed, both with the students who shared their stories and with the newspaper staff for taking on the subject.

Bullying can be a tough topic to tackle in the paper. I often get calls, usually from upset parents, about their students struggles with bullying. Most of the time, they don’t make it into the paper.

For one thing, we don’t use anonymous sources, and often parents stop communicating once they learn that. Parents are also often unhappy with how schools have handled incidents, and school officials typically won’t speak to the press about how an individual student issue has been handled, making it difficult for us to look into it.

But it’s clearly a big issue for schools everywhere, so props to The Prowler for finding a way to cover it.

More from student journalists: The December issue of Spring Grove’s Rocket Star had a front-page story on school safety after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The paper printed the school district’s statement on school security and included a few comments from students about safety.

Might not sound hard, but when student newspapers come out once a month (or even less frequently), I know it has to be tough to get timely news out. I noticed the Prowler got something online about school safety, too.

Want even more high school journalism? Check out the YDR’s Teen Takeover staff!

Feel free to share your school’s work in the comments!

About Angie Mason

I'm the education reporter at the York Daily Record/Sunday News. I want to know what's happening inside York County classrooms. Email me at amason@ydr.com or follow me on Twitter: @angiemason1
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