Woodmore Elementary School students are beginning a new year with a focus on improving peer relationships and making school a more positive place for learning.
More than half of all school-age children will be involved in bullying this year, as a victim or perpetrator with many more witnessing bullying acts on a regular basis. This doesn’t have to happen. Woodmore students and staff will be working towards reducing and preventing bullying.
On Jan. 2, students took an anti-bullying survey (that was shared with the staff) and signed an anti-bullying pledge. This was the first step towards reducing and preventing bullying at school.
|Tara Miller's sixth grade students along with Woodville police chief
Roy Whitehead, shoot silly string at Kevin Ball during the bullying
assembly. (Window to Woodmore photo by Lexi Crum)
Judy Closius, the elementary guidance counselor, met with each classroom and discussed more about this program and what it was about to students before they attended an assembly held later in the month.
Students will be using the Olweus Anti-Bullying Program to improve the social climate of classrooms and reduce related antisocial behaviors, such as vandalism and truancy.
With over 35 years of research and successful implementation all over the world, the Olweus Anti-Bullying Program is a whole school program that has been proven throughout the school setting. Many schools that have used the program have seen reductions in bullying behavior by 50 percent or more. Another step of this focus is to get parents involved.
This program includes methods for community and parental involvement and support. The elementary administration would like to encourage parents to consult a new, free resource called the Education.com-Special Edition on Bullying at School and Online.
This program is ultimately a team approach. The teachers have weekly meetings about this bullying program and what to look for in the halls, classroom and recess.
This resource helps parents take an active role addressing bullying at school and online. It includes articles, video clips, quizzes, online workshops and community forums. It is available at htp://www.education.com/specialedition/bullying/.
The Special Edition on Bullying at School and Online was created by the American Association of School Administrators, Education.com, a leading website for parents and Dr. Shelley Hymel, Dr. Amanda Nickerson and Dr. Susan Swearer, renowned experts on bullying, with corporate sponsorship provided by Symantec, makers of Norton security software.
The next step was to provide students with an opportunity to attend the January 29 assembly to learn more about the program. Parents were invited to attend as well.
School board members, high school cheerleaders, along with Elmore and Woodville police were also invited to attend the Olweus assembly.
Bullying is a problem at all schools, but seems to be a lesser of a problem at Woodmore.
“Even though bullying isn’t a major problem at the elementary, it feels like an issue that should be addressed and can always be improved,” said Assistant Elementary Principal Kevin Ball.
WES found out about this program through elementary principal, Joe Wank, who has used this program at a previous school and also through more research.
At the assembly, sixth grade students acted out a few skits of students being bullied and what should be done if they, or someone they know, is being bullied. All staff members and students received bracelets with the words, “Bully Free Zone” on them and are encouraged to wear them every day.
The WES teachers, along with all staff members, are looking out more than ever to see if any children are being bullied. If students are seen bullying, rules and consequences will be enforced to address the situation.
The biggest lesson elementary students learned throughout this assembly was they need to tell someone if they feel they are being bullied.
Look for more information the Woodmore Elementary page of the district’s website, www.woodmore.k12.oh.us.
(Reprinted with permission from the January and February editions of Window To Woodmore, a student publication)
Tara Miller’s sixth grade students, along with Woodville police chief Roy Whitehead, shoot silly string at Kevin Ball during the bullying assembly. (Window To Woodmore photo by Lexi Krum)