Friday, August 16, 2013

My thoughts on bullying...

My district has like many districts made a concerted effort to improve overall safety and security in our schools. One of the neat things about our approach is the fact that we are addressing some of the reasons that could possibly lead a student and/or adult to believe injuring others may be their only viable option. This includes addressing bullying, hazing, harassment and the overall mental health of students and parents within our community.

For the record, I'd like to thank the many people in our district and our community for their efforts in doing whatever it takes to make our schools and community as safe as possible. One of the big topics that has continually come up is bullying. Here are some thoughts on bullying that have been circling my mind lately.

~ Nobody asks to get bullied and nobody deserves to be bullied. Period.

~ I believe we are all probably guilty of this at some point in time in our lives. I know I am and I will admit to it, but, nobody should ever stand by in the presence of bullying. Not saying something or standing up for someone is passive agreement.  

~ Cell phones don't teach kids to be mean and they don't cause bullying... bullying has unfortunately existed way beyond the existence of technology.

~ We must ensure that as educators and adults we are modeling appropriate behavior. Though rare, we unfortunately have adults who are bullying other adults or kids, which then ends up sending a message to our students that it's acceptable behavior.

~ Bullying breads more bullying... it's an epidemic that can't be fought with more bullying and violent/negative behavior.

~ Training to prevent bullying can't stop with just our students and staff members. As school districts we are members of a community, and it would be unfair to say we are helping our kids if we neglect our community. Schools need to ensure that parents and members of the community are involved in the bullying training as well.

~ Bullying is one of the most detrimental and most devastating life experiences most of our students will ever experience. We need to do more to prevent this... we all need to do better.

~ Watch this TED talk by Shane Koyczan... it's extremely powerful and extremely heartbreaking...