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October is National Bullying Awareness and Prevention Month

"Bullying" is a word that is almost guaranteed to create an emotional response when we hear it.  No one wants to think that a person in our schools would feel powerless and be hurt by another person, so we want to react quickly to make things right.

 

Each year, Perry-Lecompton students are surveyed about the type of bullying they have seen or experienced. The good news is that the vast majority of them indicate that they have not been bullied. Additionally, survey results show that our students know what to do if they witness bullying behavior at school or on the bus. We are concerned about the few who are on the receiving end of bullying, and want our patrons to keep us informed when they have knowledge to share.  

 

The month of October has long been designated as National Bullying Awareness and Prevention Month and the Kansas Department of Education theme for this year will be “Take a Stand, Lend a Hand”. During October our school counselors will be in and out of classrooms at all levels to visit with our students about bullying awareness and prevention. Our hope is that our students will refuse to be a bystander, by consistently choosing to help others and promote pro-social behavior.  While bullying seems to be clear cut, when we really look into different situations we often find that there are "gray" areas. Our responses need to be carefully designed to change behaviors rather than just labeling a child as a "bully" or a "victim".  Our students are always growing, and we want them to develop into compassionate adults even if they were not always perfect children.  Through our different instructional programs, we try to teach the positive character traits that will empower students and create the type of positive environment we desire for all kids. For more information on the difference between bullying, conflict and drama, please read below.

 

 

USD 343 Bullying Behaviors Fact Sheet

Terms and definitions

Bullying means repeated aggression when the target cannot defend himself/herself due to having little power.

Conflict means a major disagreement between participants whose power is roughly equivalent.

Drama means a situation in which two or more participants choose to act out but maintain a relationship.

 

Goal

Our goal is to eliminate bullying and minimize conflict and drama, to create a positive school experience for all students. All students should feel free and safe, and should graduate with social skills ready for the workplace.

 

Responsibilities

Teachers- Supervise effectively. Work with students to promote good character. Communicate with parents and supervisor.

Counselors- Provide support to teachers and students. Communicate with parents and other professionals to solve short-term problems.

Principals- Supervise effectively.  Monitor behavior.  Discipline students as required to maintain good order. Communicate with parents and law enforcement.

Non-teaching staff- Monitor behavior.  Demonstrate good character. Report infractions to supervisor.

Parents- Teach children appropriate ways to interact.  Show good judgment when problems come up.  Communicate with teachers and principal as needed. Advocate for child.

Students- Listen to others.  Show respect and compassion. Act kindly and responsibly. Report problems to caring adults. Stand up for others who feel powerless.

Other family members- Support parents’ and schools’ efforts to develop strong young people.

 

Policies

Confidentiality

Federal law, known as FERPA, prohibits the release of information about a student to anyone besides family members and some law enforcement agencies.  Actions taken to counsel or discipline students/staff will not be relayed to the victim’s family or referred to in open settings such as Board of Education meetings.

 

BOE Bullying

Board of Education policies prohibit harassment or discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political philosophy, or age in all phases of education. They also prohibit bullying.

 

Kansas Bullying

The Kansas legislature defines and outlaws bullying, including cyber bullying, at school or at school events off-campus.

 

Reporting to authorities

Teachers, counselors, principals, and parents may report bullying to school authorities or to law enforcement at their discretion. Results of such reporting are not made public due to FERPA.

 

Support Systems

Each school creates and updates systems to celebrate good choices and to discourage poor choices. These include but are not limited to assemblies, awards, and points to be accumulated each semester.

 

Surveys

Students- On an annual basis, students in grades 3-12 complete an anonymous survey asking about incidents and location of bullying which they have observed.  This data is used by principals and counselors to plan programs and to position staff to minimize occurrences.

 

What are the steps when in-school bullying is reported to the principal, counselor, or teacher?

1. Investigate quickly to determine the facts. 2. Work toward a satisfactory resolution. 3. Follow up with student later.

 

What happens when out-of-school bullying is reported to the principal or counselor?

School personnel will determine if the incident makes an impact on the educational environment.

If there is an impact, follow the steps above. If there is no direct impact, recommend that the family follow the steps above.

 

 

 

 

 

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