by Danielle Wagner
WATERLOO (KWWL) As part of a Service Learning Project, sixth grade students at St. Ed's School in Waterloo discovered other middle school students are concerned about racism and bullying.
The project is a partnership with the Waterloo Commission on Human Rights. The class has worked on it since December.
"Everyone wrote five questions over Christmas break and then we came back and picked the best questions and then we put it into the survey and then we sent them out and then we got them back," said student Emma Roe.
The surveys went to hundreds of students at four Waterloo Middle Schools. Students and advisors were surprised to discover racism and bullying are issues many students deal with.
"I didn't think it was happening that much, but from the surveys we found out it was happening a lot," said Roe.
"I had no idea so many students thought racism and bullying is a problem in their school. They're actually very concerned about it and the majority do want to learn more and they do want to help stop it, so that's a good thing," said Teresa Wasko with the Waterloo Human Rights Commission.
From the 31 questions on the survey, the students learned a lot about racism and bullying in Waterloo schools. Including the best age to implement programs.
"We asked do you want to learn more about racism and bullying and a lot of them said yes but the majority of the people who said yes were in sixth and seventh grade so you have to start younger. You have to get the programs in middle school instead of waiting until high school," said Wasko.
The students at St. Ed's hope their findings can help bring about positive changes.
"Their overall goal is that they can come up with a program to help stop racism and bullying in middle schools," said Wasko.
"The whole class hopes it will help the schools stop it," said student Brock Ulses.
A lot of hard work from a class of students could create a better learning environment for all Waterloo students.
The St. Ed's students plan to present their findings at the Waterloo Commission on Human Rights Awards luncheon Thursday, February 25 at the Waterloo Center for the Arts.
Based on the students' survey, the commission hopes to develop specific programs on racism and bullying for Waterloo middle schools.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner