A Congressman recently visited Downingtown Middle School's television studio to discuss the district's bullying program.U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-6th, of West Pikeland, met at the middle school on Oct. 29 to help kick off the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, according to district spokeswoman Pat McGlone.

"In an interview taped for the DMS and LMS morning announcement shows, Representative Gerlach responded to a series of questions posed to him by DMS students Becca Weintraub and Jacqui Walker," said McGlone in a news release. "The Congressman praised the Olweus program and noted that some of the funding for the bullying project comes from the government's Safe and Drug Free School Act. Additional funding resources come from the Pa. Department of Education and private funding sources."

The program is used in elementary, middle, or junior high schools, according to McGlone.

"Its goals are to reduce and prevent bullying problems among school children and to improve peer relations at school," McGlone said. "The program has been found to reduce bullying among children, improve the social climate of classrooms, and reduce related antisocial behaviors, such as vandalism and truancy."

Principal Tom Mulvey and teachers Dave DiVito and Don Simpson organized Gerlach's visit.

"We are very pleased with the content of the Olweus Bullying Program and its positive effect on middle school students in particular," said Mulvey in a news release. "To have Congressman Gerlach with us this morning gives an added emphasis to our efforts in curbing bullying incidents in our schools."

For more information about the Olweus Bullying Prevention program, visit http://www.clemson.edu/olweus/.

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