MEDFORD, Ore. -- One in four kids is bullied every day at school, and over 150,000 students skip school in fear of bullies according to bullyingstatistics.org.
But one local school is looking to change that. The Vice Principal of St. Mary's Middle School Chris Johnson said bullying isn't an issue at the school, but a new curriculum is helping kids develop empathy to ensure it doesn't become a problem.
"What this program does is really foster and develop a sense of community in a very intentional way," Johnson said.
It's called "Advisory." It's a "Developmental Designs" program.
"That kind of connection and sense of community is what the strongest most well-researched anti-bullying programs all strive to create," Johnson said.
The sixth through eighth grade students start each day with "Advisory." It helps them get to know and respect their classmates.
"So, it's been just a time to socialize and get to know people and actually have fun while you're doing it," Bryce Stiemert, an eighth grade student, said.
Johnson also said the program can help students succeed once they leave St. Mary's.
"If you don't have empathy, a sense of empathy, it's really difficult for you to collaborate with other people, it's impossible for you to work effectively in cross cultural team," Johnson said.