Castleford works to promote message of inclusion

CASTLEFORD, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The Castleford School District features a K-12 education system and many of the students have been attending school there since their early years.

But for those who haven't entered this type of environment before, it's a bit different, especially moving to a small town.

In this week's 2 Strong 4 Bullies, we discuss how Castleford works to promote inclusion among all the grades.

Castleford encompasses one campus; if you look one way you could see an eight year old, then down the hall you could see someone ten years his senior.

"I could be working with a sand tray with a first grader and the next minute doing college planning with a high school senior," explained counselor Geianne Choate.

Bullying is an issue nationwide and does occur in small towns such as Castleford. Choate tries to give the students the tools they need to combat such an issue.

As she explained to "provide them the opportunity to really be courageous enough to be an upstander."

For freshman Gus Wiggins, he was exposed to high school life even before classes began.

Wiggins said, "I have a pretty good relationship because I play sports and a lot of seniors play sports with us. So the seniors help us through everything."

The upperclassmen took him under his wing as a 14 year-old looking to find his identity.

"They welcome you, no hazing, nothing like that," Wiggins added.

Sadie Austin grew up in Idaho Falls and moved to Castleford in eighth grade.

Austin said, "when I first came here I was really scared so you have to adapt and realize you are going to know everyone one way or the another."

And she says everyone plays a role.

"It's really heartbreaking when kids come in scared or they do cause problems, so when the older classmen do talk to them, it seems to really help," Austin added.