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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Counseling

Bullying Prevention and Intervention Program    

 
5Rs  



Nottingham has a comprehensive, school-wide bullying prevention and intervention program.  It is a literature based program for students in grades K-5.  The program is based on the Steps to Respect materials designed for grades 3-5.  The program teaches the 5 R's of bullying: Recognize, Refuse, Report, Record, and Receive. The last R is for adults.  All staff and parents are encouraged to listen carefully to children who report bullying and aks a few basic questions to determine if the situation meets the program's definition of bullying. All bullying is taken seriously (see examples in the policy below).  Nottingham modified the Steps to Respect program to include the entire school.   We ask anyone (students or parents) who are aware of a bullying situation to report it to the classroom teacher, a counselor, or an administrator. Students can also report bullying annonymously via a Bullying Report Box. 

 
The school celebrates Bullying Prevention Month in October. Nottingham participates in Unity Day and Character Counts Week. Spookley the square pumpkin who was bullied for being different brought the message about bullying to our young learners.
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Nottingham Bullying Prevention Policy

 

Everyone at Nottingham Elementary School is committed to making our school a safe, caring, and respectful learning community for all students.  We treat others with respect and refuse to tolerate bullying in any form at our school.  We define bullying as follows:

 

Bullying is unfair and one-sided.  It happens when someone keeps hurting, frightening, threatening, or leaving someone out on purpose.

 

Examples of bullying can include:

Name-calling

Insults and put-downs

Mean gossip and rumors

Social exclusion

Ganging up on someone

Physically hurting or threatening to hurt someone

 

Staff at Nottingham will:

  • Teach friendship and other pro-social skills.
  • Praise children for appropriate social behaviors.
  • Set and reinforce clear behavioral expectations.
  • Teach bullying prevention using a literature based curriculum kindergarten – 5th grade.
  • Watch for signs of bullying and address it when it happens.
  • Respond quickly to reports of bullying using the Steps to Respect Four-A Response process.  This includes reports from students, parent/guardians, and those reported anonymously via the “Bullying Box”.
  • When bullying behavior occurs, teachers will coach the person who is being bullied and the person bullied separately.  A Bullying Report Form will be completed and saved by the “coach” in case a similar incident occurs as well as for evaluation purposes.
  • If the same student repeats bullying behavior, the counselor or administrator will “coach” for subsequent incidents.
  • Help a child who is bullying learn alternative behaviors.

 

Students at Nottingham will remember (STEPS):

            Safety first

            Treat everyone with respect

            Everyone is included

            Protect other’s feelings

            Stand up to bullying

 

Families in the Nottingham Learning Community will join staff in:

  • Praising children for appropriate social behaviors.
  • Helping children develop positive social relationships.
  • Letting school staff  know if a child reports being bullied.
  • Supervising children according to their developmental level and stop bullying behavior immediately.
  • Helping child who is bullying practice alternative behaviors.

 

Administrators at Nottingham will:

  • Set and reinforce clear behavioral expectations.
  • Contact parents/guardians about any repeated bullying incidents.
  • Provide on-going support for students, staff, and families to implement a school-wide approach to bullying prevention.
  • Apply consequences for bullying behavior in accordance with APS Policy.
  • Document incidents on the Office Referral Form.

The 5 Rs of Bullying

Steps to Respect

Recognize– Knowwhat is bullying (and what is not)

Refuse– Ifyou feel safe, stick up for yourself or peer

Report– Bullyingis about power and needs adult help to stop it from occurring.  Reporting is not the same as tattling.

Record– Itis necessary to document or save any evidence in cyber bullying.

Receive– Staffand parents/guardians need to listen and respond effectively to reports ofbullying. 


Bullying Prevention in the Schools
An interview with Barbara Coloroso, author of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander

One of the positive outgrowths of recent school violence is a greater recognition of the problem of bullying in schools. As a result, many schools have begun to draft anti-bullying policies. The question on many educators' minds is exactly what steps to take to begin to address the problem.

Educational consultant and best-selling author Barbara Coloroso spends most of her time on the road addressing parents' and educators' concerns about discipline and the school environment. Her newest book, The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander, was published by HarperCollins in 2003.

When asked for advice on how to deal with bullying, Coloroso often quotes an anonymous Holocaust survivor who said, "Pay attention, get involved, and never, ever look away." The lessons we must take from school tragedies over the past several years are the same. Pay attention—bullying occurs in all schools. Get involved—with the bully, the bullied, and the bystander; each has a role. And never look away—grown-ups tend to dismiss bullying, which according to Coloroso is a grave mistake.

To build a positive school climate, Coloroso recommends schools take the following seven steps.

Intervene with Discipline
Communicate clear discipline policies. Every student should know that unkind acts will result in immediate discipline. Create policies that give children who bully ownership of the problem and ways to solve it via restitution, resolution, and reconciliation. When dealing with children who bully, it is important to leave their dignity intact.

Create Opportunities for Students to "Do Good"
Promote activities that encourage students to extend themselves to others. Get children who bully involved in serving as crossing guards or reading to a group of younger students. To foster "do good" habits, leave sponges at the end of lunch tables to encourage children to clean up their area for the next person.

Nurture Empathy
Help children see the perspectives of others. Study historical events where people have stood up for values and against injustices. Read "Jack and the Beanstalk" and ask students to take an unconventional point of view—the Giant's. Lead them in some role-playing with questions like "How would you feel if somebody kept taking your belongings?"

Teach Friendship Skills
There are three antidotes to bullying: a strong sense of self, being a good friend, and having friends. Many who bully or are bullied lack friendship skills. Educators, parents, and other leaders can help break the bullying cycle by both teaching and modeling skills about how to be a friend and make friends.

Monitor Children's Exposure to Media
Schools can help raise parents' awareness of the importance of monitoring their children's exposure to violence through television, music, video games, and so on. Schools can also teach children to be media-wise and to discern between fact and fiction.

Engage Children in Constructive Activities
Provide cooperative, challenging games that promote civility while reducing the number of competitive activities that reinforce social cliques. For example, when a child scores for her team in a volleyball game, send her over to help the other side. Give children positive outlets for their energy. Have them "attack" a climbing wall and feel good about the challenge.

Teach Ways to "Will Good"
In the book Integrity, Stephen Carter defines "willing good" as "speaking and doing what is right even when the burden is heavy." Sticking up for a peer means taking a risk, and children must be inspired to do so. Reading stories such as "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowry can help children understand what it means to "will good."

These seven steps help schools build a framework to provide alternatives and support to the bully, the bullied, and the bystander. Bullying prevention programs can be very useful as well, but Coloroso cautions against programs that focus on conflict resolution. "Bullying should not be dealt with as a conflict," Coloroso maintains. "It's not [conflict], it's a person having contempt, a basic disregard for the other person as a human being."

Empathy and Perspective-Taking
Since those who bully tend to have poor perspective-taking skills, developing their sense of empathy is critical to turning bullying around. "Empathy is the core virtue. [In some children] it may be covered by a lot of garbage, but it's there," Coloroso says.

Empathy and perspective taking help children do what Coloroso refers to as "meeting another human being as a human," a skill that prevention programs can help foster. Taking the time to research programs and their various components is important. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all quick fix.

Coloroso favors programs that, like Committee for Children's STEPS TO RESPECT: A Bullying Prevention Program, work on four levels: the individual, relationships, schoolwide implementation, and integration into the curriculum.

School as a Safe Harbor
Teachers often shrink back from the idea of adding one more curriculum to their list of initiatives, but according to Coloroso, the STEPS TO RESPECT program helps support some of the critical needs that schools already face: "We have to relate to one another—let's do it consciously. We have to read books—let's get kids reading conscience-raising books [that deal with] getting along with others and problem solving."

Today more than ever, educators, parents, and community members alike recognize the necessity of making school a safe harbor. Coloroso maintains that by teaching children the skills they need to navigate social interactions successfully, educators can help bring children up to "do good" and to make positive contributions to the school culture. "[It's] good if they get this from elsewhere," Coloroso says, "but it must happen in school."

Last Modified on June 26, 2014