Anti-Bullying at ENL

I am writing this article because the “B” word has become a buzz word.  Reporters are looking for stories on it and people throw it at situations in which it doesn’t really apply.  Kids, and if we are honest with ourselves, as well as adults have always been mean, disrespectful, or unkind with one another.  This is a problem we battle every day in just about any setting.  And yet Bullying, is a rather poorly understood term.  To keep it short bullying involves an imbalance of power and a pattern of behavior exploiting that power imbalance.  It is not simply because someone is mean or unkind.  It’s a much more serious accusation than that and for that reason we at ENL take it very serioiusly.

I’d like to first thank the members of our professional development committee for helping us secure dollars to implement Sources of Strength next year.  This training hits on a range of issues including suicide and bullying prevention.  Last year we did a survey of our students to assess where bullying occurs and how frequently.  We identified recess, outside of school, and hallways as the primary places it occurs and that by and large, students do not report it as an issue.  Am I saying it never occurs?  Of course not, this is a battle all schools have to constantly stay on top of.  We do climate and culture surveys every other year, review instances referred to the administration regularly, provide instruction to staff and students, there are processes for reporting bullying behavior, we’ve implemented “Nobody has the Power to Ruin Your Day” (a bullying prevention program, K-6) this year, and we try to incorporate elements into our school that build positive relationships.  That last item is critical as bullying most frequently occurs to students who become isolated and do not have those connections.

You may be reading this and asking why I am writing it. To be upfront there is a lot of gossip in the community about the “B” word.  An example is a rumor that our Board Highlight was put in place because bullying was so bad at our school that they needed to come in and observe classrooms.  To be blunt this, is ridiculously off point.  The program is to build connections between our board and staff.  To build positive relationships.  This is only one example.  I just wanted to let our community know we are committed to bullying prevention and it is by no means something we ignore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *