Luna Productions for teaching channel
CREATING RULES AND RUBRICS TO PREVENT BULLYING
Principal Remy Everett talks about bullying at her school.
Everett: I just want my kids needs met.
St. Philips's School is a K through Eight school for nearly 200 students.
Everett: I want happier kids and although this is a fairly happy school, they're normal. Bullying can be a very invisible part of the school life and I worried about it.
TITLE: CREATING RULES AND RUBRICS TO PREVENT BULLYING
Student: My name is Callum.
Student2: My name is Spencer.
Student3: My name is Andy.
Everett: Last year, it was a little bit of a surprise to find that there was bullying in the intermediate grades. There was some evidence of it in kindergarten, more evidence of it in second, third, and fourth. I don't want to be a school where we say, 'oh well that's normal and I don't know what else we can do.' I don't want to be that kind of school and we don't have that kind of staff either.
Annemarie Cota: So, is there bullying at St. Philips, right now? Tell the truth.
Cota: Yeah. Ok? So supposing you came to school, so what does it feel like when you are bullied. What's it fee;l like when you are bullied, Clare?
Clare: Feels terrible and sort of want to die sometimes.
Cota: Ok, sort of want to die sometimes, and we know at times, there have been suicides because of bullying. Ok? So what do you want to do when you are bullied? How do you usually react when you are bullied? Honestly how do you usually react?
Brian: You leave or tell a teacher.
Cota: Ok, leave or tell a teacher. What else do you do?
Rose: Wish you were different.
Cota: Ok, yeah. I wish I was different so I could fit in. What else? Jack, what do you want to do if I bully you about your hair?
Jack: Um, hide in a corner.
Cota: Hide in a corner...
Everett: As a principal, I felt a need to find something for them. talking about it in the faculty room was one thing but finding a real, concrete solution was another thing.
To find the solution, St.Philips embarked on a comprehensive, antibully program; including, new bully prevention rules, a new bully behavior consequence rubric, and before the school year began, an all-day bully prevention training with teachers and staff.
Everett: Teachers are not trained to always identify bullying so this is hopefully, well its professional development but it’s also a philosophy change for the school and it takes the emotion out of it.
Dr. Alexandra Matthews: Stopping bullying takes a team effort, one person alone can't do it.
Bully issues are rarely resolved by schools using traditional disciplinary practices, so Principal Remy chose to partner with the Olweus bullying prevention program.
Matthews: At first, people may not actually believe that you are actually going to do something about it so it may take a little while for people to realize, 'oh you're really serious, something is going to get done about this.'
Dr. Alexandra Matthews, a certified Olweus bully prevention program trainer, leads the session.
Matthews: When we implement the Olweus program there is generally a shift in attitude in bullying from, 'boys will be boys, it's part of childhood, the victim needs to be more assertive and stand up for themselves' to understanding that victims cannot protect themselves, we need to help them, we need to protect them. We need to create consequences to the bullying.
An important starting point for any anti-bullying effort is solid data. Previously, Dr. Matthews had issued a detailed questionnaire to the students of St. Philips, to identify when and where bullying is happening. How much bullying? What kind? And who and what grades are involved?
Matthews: Boys are reporting, verbal first, physical next, rumors, sexual and racial. And I'm sure that, usually the sexual harassment means being called gay. The locations of bullying, 60% of kids report being bullied on the playground during unstructured time, no during PE time. The number two time was in class with the teacher present. So we'll see what’s up with that. One of the questions was how often do teachers intervene in bullying and the rate here is lower than the national average. So that is something that we want to counteract. Overall 41% of the kids think that teachers intervene, 60% think they don't.
The heart of the meeting. In preparation for a new school year, creating St. Philips' own anti-bullying rules.
Matthews: These are typically the rules. Most of the schools I work with will adopt these rules straight up. So, the rules are that we will not bully others, we will try to help students who are bullied, we will try to include students that are easily left out. And then if you know that someone is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and adult at home. One of the ways that bullying can really take hold is that it gets surrounded by silence and the kids who are bullied don't tell anybody. The kids who are witnesses don't tell anybody and so we want to switch from that culture to a climate of telling. Telling is different from tattling. Tattling is telling on somebody just to get them in trouble. Telling is speaking the truth to protect somebody's safety.
Matthews: The next piece we are going to do is sit down and start to hammer out the details of how they are going to implement the program in their school.
Because every school is different, the challenge here is to create their own version of a bully behavior consequence rubric, which precisely defines what bullying behavior triggers which punitive consequence.