Bullying is often on the forefront of conflict in schools; especially with students living with special needs. While making friends may be an easy task for some, many students struggle with debilitating anxiety in social situations. Yet many schools lack social skills programs to facilitate social interaction with those students who need it the most.
A students’ peers are the best facilitators of positive social interactions and a local southern California student, Natalie Hampton, used that fact to assist her peers, and students across the nation. Natalie realizing the need, designed an app called “Sit With Us” – an app that “allows students to designate themselves as “ambassadors,” thereby inviting others to join them. Ambassadors can then post “open lunch” events, which signal to anyone seeking company that they’re invited to join the ambassadors’ table.”
Natalie was inspired to launch the app after she, like many students across the nation, suffered from isolation at lunch time and found herself vulnerable to bullying. After she was able to turn her social situation around, she was inspired to help others.
While some schools have specialized “buddy” or peer programs to facilitate better peer interactions, tolerance for all students and a better overall moral of their student body, many schools fail to create and implement successful interventions to assist with positive peer interactions and prevent bullying.
Too many schools do not have bullying prevention programs, creating an environment where bullying is increasing more than ever. A tip we give parents, is to ask their school to create an official anti-bullying campaign and implement peer relation programs within their student body. Parents should contact their local school board to get the conversation started.
Kudos to Natalie in her entrepreneurial spirit!