LISD uses slogan to combat bullying

LISD uses slogan to combat bullying
Thousands of sixth graders across East Texas had their backpacks in hand as they walked into the first day of middle school. This means new classrooms, new teachers, and new peers. These are all ingredients to make up one nervous sixth grader.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - "We tried to eliminate their fears this morning and give them a smile. We told them if they got lost to come find us, and we'll help them find their next class," said Cindy Rich, Reading 180 teacher.

To combat their nerves, the school's theme this year is 'SMILE,' an acronym for, Show Me Im Loved Everyday.

One thing on many nervous students' and parents' mind is bullying. According to, most bullying in middle school takes place in the classroom. However, Lufkin Middle School supervisors said teachers are always watching.

"Teachers are all aware of being the watchful eye in case we see something," said Rich. "It's the teacher that'll notice something, and they'll go to the student because kids are sometimes a little nervous about reporting some things."

One way the school is implementing a no bullying zone is with this year's theme SMILE.

"We’re focusing on becoming one unit and one family and really focusing on building harmony," said Jesus Gomez, Lufkin Middle School principal.
The first day of middle school nerves hits home for LISD Superintendent, Latonya Goffney, whose daughter started today.
“Well she’s my baby so of course I’m human although I’m superintendent I'm human," said Goffney.
With Lufkin M.S. supervisors having a strong presence, Goffney said it makes her makes her more relaxed.

"Each teacher is focused on building a relationship with groups of students and being attentive and proactive," said Goffney.

One thing staff members want all students to remember is that this is a new experience for everyone.
“Everybody is new in sixth grade at middle school because no one has been here before, so all of them are the same,” said Rich. “Whether they’ve moved here or they came from elementary school, when they look around they're not alone. They’re not the new kid because we have 600 new kids.”

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