Bullying is a “Hot Topic” issue in our society today that has always been and still is a serious problem everywhere. Bullying takes place not just among our children in school, but in the workplace, in the community, in the home, and around the world.
The USV Staff and Administration would like to work together with our community to help stop bullying. We will attend the meeting set up by parents for October 10th at 7:00 p.m. at the Alger Fire Department.
We plan to discuss the topic of bullying – what bullying is; and what bullying is not. Every day there will be some sort of conflict between people regardless of whether they are children or adults. All of us must learn how to manage conflict so that it does not escalate into bigger problems that may lead to fighting and/or bullying.
Our children must learn that it is important for them to report problems they are unable to resolve on their own. They need to go to a trusted adult and seek the help they need to resolve the conflict. We all need to be aware of what actually constitutes bullying and that there is more than one side to any story.
It is our desire to work together, alongside our entire community, to help our children grow into responsible adults as they navigate the emotional waters of childhood and the teenage years.
There will be a follow-up meeting next Tuesday, October 16th at 7:00 p.m. in the USV Board Room. We hope to create a team of community members and school staff to collaborate to resolve the scourge of bullying.
In the meantime, we request that you research such topics as:
What is bullying?
What is not bullying?
What is conflict?
What is mean/rude behavior?
What are good and polite manners?
Concerned community members, school administrators, board members and parents held a public meeting recently to address concerns about youth bullying. About 25 people gathered at the Alger Fire Station on Wednesday, October 10th at 7 pm.
Louise Taylor organized and led the information session after meeting with school officials last week. She said, “We have our children and we have the school. We need to work together as a parent group to see what we can do to help.”
Bullying Prevention Specialist Donna Dickman from the Partnership For Violence Free Families gave a presentation explaining the difference between bullying and conflict. She says bullying involves a repeated pattern of intentional, aggressive behavior where there is an imbalance of power or strength. Examples include repeated name calling/taunting, repeated obscene gestures, spreading rumors, causing social isolation, cyber bullying and getting other people to take part in bullying activities. Dickman also explained that children who are bullies are 4 times more likely to be court involved by age 24 than other young people. Children most at risk for being the target of bullying are those with mental or physical disabilities or health problems and members of the LGBTQ community. Dickman adds, “We have to model good behavior for our kids because they watch and see what we are doing.”
Sgt. Rich William from the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office also talked to parents about the importance of documenting suspected bullying and reporting it to school, and possibly, law enforcement officials on each occurrence.
A few in attendance asked questions about specific incidents involving children they know. USV Superintendent Mike Kis cautioned that because of federal law he and school officials may only discuss student discipline with that student’s parents.
After about an hour, school officials excused themselves, leaving parents and community members to brain storm about ways to work with the school on bullying prevention.
A follow-up meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, October 16th at 7 pm at USV Schools.