BULLYING IS a national problem, and one growing in scope.

On the local level, steps are being put in place to help curb, if not totally eliminate, a disturbing issue.

The battle against bullying was reinforced Friday when a local school in the Harrison Hills School District unveiled its comprehensive game plan.

It is one that we hope and believe will be effective. It is also one that other Ohio Valley schools would be wise to implement, should they not already have their own plan in place.

Harrison North Elementary School has opted to take a pro-active approach to the bullying problem. It did so by launching its Olweus Anti-Bullying Program.

The school unveiled the program in front of the entire student body and staff, explaining the problems that such behavior presents and the goals in stopping it. Thus, all those involved were brought up to speed.

Olweus Anti-Bullying Program raises awareness in regards to bullying and presents guidelines for students encountering such a scenario. The pupils are being encouraged to refrain from bullying, aiding those who are victims and report such incidents to adults.

The consequences were spelled out to all students, removing any gray areas or allowing for misconceptions to develop. Moreover, staff members will dialogue with students daily on the issue and reinforce the benefits of good behavior.

The efforts being undertaken at Harrison North Elementary will unlikely eliminate all bullying activity at the school, but we do believe it will be greatly reduced.

We commend school officials for their aggressive stance on bullying and encourage other schools to follow suit.