There have been many updates surrounding bullying prevention and intervention since our last school year. In Minnesota, the Safe and Supportive Schools Act was passed which has many stipulations for schools to make our buildings safe, supportive, and positive places to be. To view an updated copy of our school bullying policy, please click here. There is also further information in the Elementary Student Handbook.
As is stated in the handbook, each child that attends the elementary schools in Pipestone must sign a pledge stating they will not bully. All kids at Brown and Hill must sign this and know that we will not tolerate bullying at our schools. This is done at the beginning of the year.
Each classroom also receives 2-classes of Character Education/Social Emotional Development Lessons a month. Some of these lessons focus directly on bullying. Other lessons focus on character values like respect, caring, mindfulness, social awareness, and fairness which undoubtedly impact the amount of bullying. It is incredibly helpful to have preventative efforts in our schools. Conflict resolution skills are practiced and encouraged by students.
The staff at Hill do such a nice job of working together as a team to make sure that students are treating each other with respect. This includes all of the paras, teachers, subs, secretaries, and everyone else. This team effort helps keep everyone informed. We utilize a Bully Box which is a place for students who leave notes about being bullied, seeing someone being bullied, or being bullies themselves. The box and forms are located in my office. They can do this anonymously or write their own names. I then work with other staff, students, and parents to make sure we are addressing any issues that arise.
I meet with students who may be experiencing bullying or acting as a bully. Groups are also coordinated based on these needs. I also provide unique classroom interventions to help students understand each other better. It is important that we work with students, parents, and staff to create a community of tolerance and acceptance.
We utilize a number of evidence-based interventions and materials including materials from the Olweus program, Bully Busters, Bully Free Zone, Character Counts, I Didn't Know I was a Bully, and other various books and materials. For more information on the BRAVE program that visits the 4th grade classrooms, please visit http://togetherbrave.wordpress.com/.
There are many helpful links when it comes to bullying. Check the blog and newsletters for updated links of articles and interventions that are useful. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns. If your child is experiencing bullying or in conflict with another student, please make sure we are informed at school so we can ensure that our halls are safe, supportive, and positive places for all of our students.