Educational Insights 11.4.2013
Educational Insights 11.4.2013
Posted on 11/05/2013

          One of the district’s primary missions “is to provide safe and secure environments for all students and staff.” In the effort to better educate our students, a research-based curriculum (Second Step) has been added to homeroom instructional time in grades K-8 this year. Lessons are taught by homeroom teachers weekly and referred to on a regular basis when social conflicts occur.

            School policy defines bullying as: “behavior where one person (or group) repeatedly engages in harmful action towards another person (or group) acting on a real or perceived imbalance of power or view of superiority”. Students who are “engaging in bully, which includes any ongoing pattern of physical, verbal, or electronic abuse on school grounds” are subject to disciplinary action. Victims “of bullying or harassment, or who observe such occurring, are to promptly report the problem to their teacher or to the principal so the problem can be addressed”.

            Parents can be a great help to school officials by addressing the problem honestly with their child if they feel they are the victim of a bully. Strong lines of communication help in handling the issue. Make sure they know it is not their fault and they do not have to tolerate this repeated harassment. Help them develop a plan for how to better cope with the bully and that they are not alone.

The next essential step is to involve the school immediately! Approach a teacher or school administrator and inform them of what is going on. It is important to provide adult intercession in the process in order to fully stop the problem. This is especially important because it is difficult to determine how many people are being affected by the situation.

It is recommended for adults to always remember to remain calm and do their best to be supportive. This is a difficult time for a child and matters might only be made worse if adults react too strongly or do not take them seriously enough.

School personnel do not take bullying lightly and utilize policies that provide steps to take in stopping the bullying. However, if the incidents are not reported, it is impossible to take action. No one likes to be bullied or made to feel inferior in life. The only way to stop a bully is to confront them directly and for bystanders to stand up against the bully in defense of the victim.

Ongoing, open communication between the child, parent, and school personnel is critical to stop these negative behaviors. It is our job to teach kids what bullying is and what to do about it. It is a student’s responsibility to report the incidents to a caring adult. By working together, we can help keep all our students and staff feeling safe and respected in the school environment!

-Dr. Paula Sissel

Superintendent/Elementary Principal