All News & Blogs
Cedar Forest and Riverview elementary schools implement proactive anti-bullying program.
Cedar Forest Elementary's proactive effort against bullying includes flying banners for days without reports of problems at school or on buses.
View More Images from this story
Visit the Photo Place
Bullying, according to the Olweus definition, "is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself."
Examples can include gossiping, mean teasing, or excluding someone. Or it can take a physical form such as hitting, intimidating or taking another person's property.
And today, as tragic examples have shown nationwide, bullying also happens via technology.
The potentially severe consequences of bullying led Strawn to take a proactive approach.
"I thought, I don't want this to happen at my school," he said. "I need to try to stop this from happening."
REMOVING THE POWER
Cedar Forest and Riverview begin each week with meetings in every classroom that last 30 minutes or less. Those gatherings allow time to address anything that occurred during the weekend and set the tone for the week's instruction.
The goal is to educate through open communication and concrete examples of appropriate behavior, said Strawn and Riverview Principal Dianne Holmes.
For example, if a child is off to himself on the playground or at the lunch table, that's a signal for others to reach out and urge him to "huddle up," as a boy in Hall's class pointed out during a meeting last month.
The Olweus program identifies three roles that can come into play in bullying--the bully, the victim and the bystander--and shows students how to respond in each role.
Bullying--which Strawn and Holmes discovered happens most often in the cafeteria, on a school bus or on the playground--should be reported by the victim or any observer, adult or child. Forms are available in the schools for that purpose.
Students also are taught to tell an adult at school and at home about bullying they observe or receive.
And bystanders are taught constructive ways to address bullying they see. When a note with mean words in it is found on the floor, it should be snatched up because it could hurt someone's feelings, said a girl in Hall's class.
"I would tell the person not to pass notes any more because they can start rumors," another girl said.
"And rumors are hurtful," Hall reminded the students.
She asked them what they would do if they heard someone call a classmate a mean name like "dumb."
1. We will not bully others.2. We will try to help students who are bullied. 3. We will try to include students who are left out. 4. If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and at home.
--Olweus Bullying Prevention
CEDAR FOREST'S BULLY-FREE CHANT
No more bullying at our school.
It isn't nice and it isn't cool.
Every school has a right to be
safe and fun and bully-free!