New MVP program at West High

Mentors in Violence Prevention, a new program at West High, works to help combat violence at school.

Assistant+princiapl+Molly+Abraham+is+pioneering+the+new+Mentors+in+Violence+Protection+program+to+help+upperclassmen+develop+the+skills+necessary+to+become+active+bystanders.

Owen Aanestad

Assistant princiapl Molly Abraham is pioneering the new Mentors in Violence Protection program to help upperclassmen develop the skills necessary to become active bystanders.

A new program at West, mentors in violence prevention (MVP) will start in 2021. This program, led by staff members Molly Abraham, Rick Hancox, Kerry Kilker, Paul Breitbach, Megan Johnson, and Susie Ziemer will group freshmen and pair them with upperclassmen to learn about violence prevention and how to make the school a better and safer place.

During AFT Friday Dec. 13, a select group of students were recommended by teachers to learn more about this program and go to a training during MLK day. After the training, they will have the chance to apply to become a part of the program for the 2020-2021 school year.

Along with the obvious physical violence prevention, the program will also target other types of violence, such as emotional, psychological and technological abuse. This program has been started in part because of the climate survey that students took last year because 20% of students said that they had felt unsafe at school.

Along with the obvious physical violence prevention, the program will also target other types of violence, such as emotional, psychological and technological abuse.”

Along with the obvious physical violence prevention, the program will also target other types of violence, such as emotional, psychological and technological abuse. Many students from the meeting agreed that violence is a problem at West, and something needs to be done. “It’s happened enough to where [people] can’t tell the difference between guys just messing around in the hallway and something that is actually a problem,” says Phoebe Burt ‘21.

This program is not just happening at West. Schools in many states, including Colorado, Montana, and Washington, use similar variations of this program to help in their schools. The program wants students to take an active role in promoting a positive school climate, along with a focus on cyberbullying and the responsibility of bystanders to intervene.

Freshmen will be taught by the select group that will be further narrowed down from the original group of selected students and will be helped to understand that there is not only one way to confront harassment and abuse.

The program also promises to teach upperclassmen valuable leadership skills that will help them even after high school. These upperclassmen mentors will be trained during this school year to understand and create dialogues with freshmen next year.