The Peace Center has launched a new initiative aimed at reducing bullying in our public schools. As part of that effort, we have hired a Washburn student as our intern to focus on that effort. Peace Center interns, board members and our executive director Jim McCollough have met with area educators from each of our four Shawnee county school districts. We plan further communication this spring with each of our schools, to discover how we can work together to strengthen anti-bullying initiatives in each school.
Overview of Bullying Initiatives
Update on TCPJ Bullying Prevention Initiative
- TCPJ did a Bully Prevention Program at the Boys and Girls Club, Adams Club over the summer for a 10 week program. The children’s age range that we worked with was 3rd to 5th grade.
- The children read the book: Jake Drake Bully Buster
- We provided the children with the curriculum that was effective and age appropriate in educating them in strategies for preventing or addressing bullying behaviors when they encounter them.
- They learned bullying basics such as: What is bullying?
The difference between bullying and conflict, what roles they all play in preventing and responding to bullying, cyberbullying, gossip, what is a bystander and how powerful it is to be one. Also they learned why people bully.
- Each group received an ice cream party at the end of their sessions for all their hard work and being good listeners in the program
Safe Schools Conference
- Lindsey Schwartz and Davis Hammett presented a viewing of the movie: Bullied at the Kansas Safe, Healthy and Prepared Schools Conference in Manhattan Kansas on September 22nd.
- After the movie, Lindsey and Davis spoke to the audience about the importance of taking bullying seriously. We defined bullying by the federal and state of Kansas. We discussed how essentially the schools have a legal requirement to actively prevent bullying and have and follow a plan to address bullying that includes education for staff and students. We spoke on power imbalance and what normalization has created in assisting in bullying
- Lindsey spoke at the Kansas Association of Middle Level Education on September 26th at Washburn Rural Middle School. There was a mixture of school faculty, social workers, and guidance counselors that have formed together from schools in Kansas to establish a voice for middle school across the state.
- There was a viewing of the movie Bullied and then a breakout session where the audience learned their role as educators in keeping their students safe from bullying.
- Topics discussed were: Importance of taking it serious, Kanas Statute against bullying, roles as educators to have an active plan and follow it for bullying as well being the voice in your school to make sure the establish plan against bullying is being sought out and followed.
Washburn Rural Middle School Presentation
- Lindsey met with 80, 8th graders at WRMS on September 25th to do a lesson on Bullying and Cyberbullying
- The children learned concepts in: What is bullying? Definition of bullying, why do people bully, Boys vs. Girls being bullied by numbers, bullying for many reasons, why do words hurt so much, the audience, what is a bystander and why are they so powerful, bullying vs. conflict, cyberbullying, and what happens if one gets caught bullying.