Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bullying Prevention

Nationally 1 in 4 students report they were bullied during the past school year. I have coordinated our school's bullying prevention program for the past 8 years. When I went to my current school 9 years ago there was a lot of social and verbal bullying that was mostly being ignored by staff. We began using the Committee for Children Steps to Respect program in grades 3-5 and I developed materials for counseling lessons and teachers in grades K-2. Despite a comprehensive program, 23% of our students in grades 3-5 last year reported they were bullied. Bullying is a social and environmental phenomenon that happens in schools. My major focus is to train all staff to listen and empathize when students report bullying so they continue to report and to train students to be helpful bystanders. Research has shown over and over again that those are the most important components of a successful bullying program. 
Last year I developed a Google Form with the information on the Bullying Report Form shown above. It is on the Counselor Corner part of our school web page and students, staff, and parents can use it to document reports of bullying. It comes directly to my confidential school Google folder and generates all the data reports I need. Last year I received 33 reports online. We still have paper and pencil copies available (our cafeteria and recess monitors carry these on a clipboard). Students can also complete a paper form and put it into a Bullying Box outside my office. Staff provide their name but parents and students can make anonymous reports.
This year our district purchased the Committee for Children Bullying Prevention Units for all schools K-8. It uses the same language and tools as the older Steps to Respect materials but does not rely as heavily on the literature-based component. We will continue to use read alouds and discussions led by teachers in all grades at my school to ensure total by in and an ongoing message that bullying of any type is not allowed at our school. My favorite part of the new Bullying Prevention Units is the 3 online training modules.
We are providing "flipped" professional development for our staff with these training modules. All staff will use Module 2 on their own time which trains them to take a bullying report and if a situation is determined to be bullying develop a safety plan for the students being bullied and a behavior-change plan for the student doing the bullying. As the training administrator I am notified when staff have completed the training. We are requiring all new staff to come meet with me for 15 minutes for a discussion about our school's procedures and so I can answer any of their questions. This is a big time saver because in the past all staff sat through a 45 minute presentation by me and new staff had to come to my office to watch the Steps to Respect DVDs which took an additional 2 hours.
Check out the Committee for Children materials here Bullying-Prevention-Unit

No comments:

Post a Comment