Chances are, you've read somewhere recently about the uptick in bullying, harassment and threats that many individuals, including students, are experiencing based on things like religion, ethnicity, political stance or sexual orientation. Granted, this unfortunate and harmful behavior is nothing new. However, it does seem to have increased within the past month or so. Based on this, it might be a good idea to take some time to review and update (if necessary) your anti-bullying and any other of your district's safe-school policies. Here are some things to consider to ensure your students feel safe in their learning environments and your families/community feel confident in the policies you have enacted within your district:
- Do you have a number students can call--anonymously or otherwise--to report being a victim of or witness to any type of bullying? If that number prevalent on your website? Is it displayed throughout your school buildings?
- If you don't have a bully hotline, do all of your staff members feel comfortable handling incidents should a student report one to them? Do you provide regular staff trainings on the matter?
- Is your anti-bullying policy published online where any community member can view it? Do you make a point of regularly reminding your community/public where they can locate and review your policy?
- Do your students know the proper procedures to take should they be a victim of or witness to any type of harassment? Do all your staff members know the proper procedures for handling such incidents?
- Do you include tips or insight in your newsletters or on your website or any other district communications on how to prevent bullying? Do you discuss it in assemblies or have resources your teachers can use to promote kindness?
If you have a policy that has been successful in your school or helpful resources you would like to share, please email me. We would love to distribute helpful material to our members so that all students feel safe and can focus on learning when they're at school!