Bullying has long been an unfortunate element to the school environment.
Whether it be a scuffle at the bus stop or a fight on the playground, many people have been witness to an example of bullying. With texting, social networking and other technologies becoming more common among young people so, too, does the threat of cyberbullying.
Inger Young is a student counselor for the Chillicothe R-2 school district. She said the district has a zero tolerance policy on bullying, and efforts are being made to strengthen bullying awareness among faculty and staff.
“Anti-bullying efforts in the Chillicothe schools involves all staff,” Young said. “At the beginning of the school year, all staff members are required to participate in a program to identify and address bullying.”
Young said student education about the threat of bullying has also become a key element in combatting the issue.
“In elementary, students are taught to use the ‘Stop, Walk, Talk’ technique developed by The Positive Behavior Support initiative,” Young explained. “Students are taught to say ‘Stop’ as well as use a stop gesture, such as holding up their hand. Teachers immediately recognize this as a student trying to stop the situation. Students should then walk away from the problem. It is often effective for the student to walk toward an adult. Students must then talk to an adult. Talking allows the student to inform the teacher of the problem by sharing what they have done to combat the bullying situation and ask for assistance when they need help to resolve the problem.”
Young said much anti-bullying work can be done in the home by parents, especially when it comes to setting a good behavioral example.
“It's important to set a good example of getting along with others and discussing how to resolve issues with others peacefully,” Young said. “Parents must also monitor their children’s electronic devices such as phone, computer, tablet and game systems. They should also talk daily with their children about their activities during and after school.”
Young said the most important bit of information for students is to warn adults of any problems as soon as possible.
“They really need to tell an adult,” Young said. “If they don't think they are getting the help from the adult, tell another until they get the help they need. Talk to parents, grandparents, family members, teachers, counselor, principal, nurse, bus driver, janitor, cafeteria staff, teacher aide, secretary, school resource officer, coach or any other adult.”