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Melba High School teaches students to take a stand against violence

The Green Dot Program teaches students to be reactive and proactive bystanders in violent situations.

Students at Melba High School are learning to take a stand against violence and ultimately create a culture where it’s not tolerated.

It's called the Green Dot Program and this is the fifth consecutive year that it's being taught at the Canyon County high school.

"The culture out here is fantastic, when you show up to school you know everyone is here to learn, have a good time but most importantly, you are safe," said Mark Stradely, a senior at Melba High School.

"It's a positive environment, you walk in and it’s just this atmosphere, I come here, and I am always happy, and I know I can learn when I need to I can count on everyone here," said senior Kaylee Andrus.

The Green Dot Program teaches students to be reactive and proactive bystanders if they come across a situation that doesn't seem quite right.

"The three elements involved -- anti-bullying, anti-dating violence, and anti-sexual abuse -- it’s called power-based violence," said Tim Helgerson, a teacher and Green Dot coordinator at Melba High School.

"We will be teaching reactive green dots, which is to distract delegate or directly get involved and we also teach proactive green dots."

For this training to be effective, Helgerson says every social circle of students must be on board.

"What we try to do is pick influencers within our social groups and then train them with the idea that they will go back to their social groups and it will spread through their social groups," Helgerson said. "That's why we try to get every single group represented in our meeting."

Melba is one of only two high schools in Idaho where the Green Dot Program is taught.

Helgerson hopes more schools will get on board to create a similar, safe atmosphere.

"It makes me feel like we are making a difference, we are changing a culture," Helgerson said.

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