The rise of the internet. School shootings. Advances in research.Lawsuits. Teen suicides. State Legislatures.
Anti-bullyingactivists. Social Media. There”s no single factor accounting for rising swell ofattention paid to school bullying or the changes taking place toaddress it in K-12 education. What”s clear is shifts are taking place — nationally,internationally, at the state level and in Lynchburg area schooldivisions.
In response to the 2011 Virginia School Safety Audit survey, 98percent of schools reported making a special effort to reducebullying last year, ranging from a formal bullying preventionprogram to holding a school assembly. “I’m sure that 10 years ago we wouldn’t have seen [that]percent of the school principals responding in that way,”said Dewey Cornell, bullying expert and Clinical Psychologist andProfessor of Education at the University of Virginia. In a series of separate interviews, area education leadersexpressed diverse ideas about what has changed in how bullying isaddressed in schools. Some perceived advances in the way educators think about the issue.Others pointed to the role of increasingly vocal parents, or newstrategies to address cyberbullying. “Awareness has been raised,” Lynchburg City SchoolsSuperintendent Scott Brabrand said. Cavitation RF Machine
“Now it”s ‘Are the policies and practices we havein place working? That is to be determined going forward.” He and Director of Student Services Gloria Preston both stressedtechnology helped prompt changes in how school divisions deal withbullying. With cyberbullying, what may once was an issue for a teacher toaddress in the classroom, may need to be addressed differently.Division-level policies and procedures may be required, they said. Recent changes to the division”s code of conduct andacceptable use policies reflect that reality. “Bullying has been a problem through the ages —technology changed the scale of the impact,” Brabrandexplained. In the Campbell County Schools, Counseling Supervisor Linda Grubbasees progress from the way schools handled bullying when she wasgrowing up in the 1950s and 60″s. Breast Enlargement Machines
“Pretty much the attitude was that boys will be boys andgirls will be girls and there’s nothing you can do about it, andmay the best man or woman survive,” she said. Scholarly research deserves major credit for changing mindsetsamong educators, she said. Bullying has been better defined. Themyth that all bullies are social outcasts has been put to rest. Micro Dermabrasion Machines
Sohas the idea bullying can be solved by punishment alone. Research on the importance of emotional intelligence for childrenhelped inspire her to bring the Second Step anti-bullying programto Campbell County. She worked with Lucille Cable, then Coordinator of Safe & DrugFree Schools Grants for the Campbell County to secure grant money.The program, which teaches social and emotional skills forstudents, is now about eight years old and has expanded to thecounty”s middle schools. InLynchburg, R.S.
Payne Principal John Blakely, he said he”sbeen addressing bullying at various schools and employing variousanti-bullying programs and initiatives over the course of hiscareer. The biggest difference he sees, he said, is the recent swell ofmedia attention around bullying has changed his conversations withparents. Within the last few years, Blakely said, parents have become morelikely to speak up about their children being bullied. He thinks itmakes educators more effective in their efforts to combat bullying. “It”s critical that parents are communicating with theschool and the school is communicating with parents,” hesaid.
Liberty Christian Academy Superintendent John Patterson struck asimilar note. “I think our culture has brought this issue of studentmistreatment to the forefront,” Patterson said. “Quitefrankly, from LCA”s standpoint, we are glad.” Patterson puts additional emphasis on dealing with bullying inelementary school. Fewer bullies in elementary school, he said,should mean fewer bullies in middle and high school.
Even if it turns out an allegation of bullying is overblown, therestill can be an opportunity to address negative behavior, he said.Even sarcasm can hurt other people and detract from the schoolcommunity. “Because we put a premium on school environment,” heexplained, “we put a premium on how students treat eachother.” Grubba said the only downside she sees to more vocal parents isthey sometimes are overly confrontational when calling the schoolto report a potential bullying issue. The trick is to move awayfrom confrontation and toward investigation on behalf of the child. Students also are developing a greater awareness of bullying,Grubba said, but those ages 7 and below can struggle to understandthe difference between bullying and one-time bad behavior. Young students come to visit her in the guidance office and saythings like “He took the ball from me, he”s abully.” “They refer themselves, all the time — it’s prettycute,” she said.
“It’s all part of educating.”.