160,000 children skip school each day because of intimidation by their peers. How many of your absences are due to bullying? Many schools think they have bullying under control. Those same schools are shocked when they survey their students and find out that 20% of their students are experiencing bullying on an ongoing basis.
The YWCA of the Sauk Valley has been providing free bullying prevention services to area schools since 2006. Here are the offerings available to Lee and Whiteside County schools.
Consultation: A meeting is scheduled with key school personnel to determine what bullying prevention measures are currently being used and discuss other programs and options available to the school.
Survey: The YWCA will work with your school to create a student survey that assesses school climate, location and frequency of bullying incidents and student attitudes about bullying. In addition, staff can be surveyed to gauge adult responses and attitudes regarding bullying.
Staff Training: The YWCA will provide an all-staff training. All school staff will learn to recognize and respond to bullying situations. Other topics specific to school’s needs may be included.
Parent Talk: The YWCA is available to address parent groups and discuss how to help children involved in bullying situations.
Classroom Presentation: One-session or multi-session presentations are available at all grade levels. Topics include name calling, exclusion, rumors and gossip, cyber-bullying, assertiveness, and bystander behavior.
Comprehensive School-Wide Program: The schools most successful in preventing bullying use a whole-school approach, utilizing a combination of all of the above elements. Typically a committee is formed, comprised of a cross-section of school personnel. The committee guides the bullying prevention efforts by building a school-wide framework for implementation. This involves assessing all aspects of the school environment (physical features, supervision, scheduling, and student attitudes and perceptions) to determine if and how they are contributing to a bullying environment. The committee also reviews or develops an anti-bullying school policy, reporting procedures, and consequences for bullying behaviors. Once framework decisions have been made and put into place, all staff is trained to recognize and respond to bullying. Students are taught lessons related to bullying prevention issues on a regular basis, and parents are encouraged to learn about bullying. Two evidence-based programs we have been trained in and have assisted area schools in implementing are Steps to Respect Bullying Prevention Program and Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.
For more information about these services, please contact Deb Walter, Education Coordinator, at (815) 625-0333.