Mars mother wants to boost anti-bullying
Her goal is to expand school efforts elsewhere
April 8, 2013
ADAMS TWP — A Mars mother wants to expand the Mars School District’s anti-bullying efforts to youth sports, after-school activities and neighborhoods. Carmelina Vargo, who founded Parents for Pride, Neighborhoods Against Bullying, told school board members Tuesday evening that she hopes to partner with the district in promoting anti-bullying throughout the district. Vargo said her group believes an anti-bullying message begins at home, where parents should teach their children kindness, compassion and empathy. She said this is not always the case as she and other group members have seen adult-generated bullying take place during after-school activities, youth sports practices and games, and other activities. “It takes a village to stop bullying and violence in our neighborhoods and schools,” Vargo said. As an initial effort, Vargo hopes to place the group’s first “Bully Free Zone” sign at Mars High School. She hopes also to place the signs at all public recreation fields, neighborhoods and schools. Vargo said the group would promote anti-bullying through a youth sports magazine and also provide anti-bullying articles to the district to include in its publications. She said Matt Friedman, assistant superintendent; Dale Sleva, high school assistant principal; Anna Saker, director of pupil services; and other district officials are members of Parents for Pride, Neighborhoods Against Bullying, and she hopes more parents, teachers and others will join as well. Vargo said she thinks that her group is the only group in the United States that fights bullying after school in youth sports and activities. The school board took no action on her proposal.