School Initiatives to Combat BullyingBullying violates Board of Education policies, the District's Code of Conduct, and acceptable social behavior. In some instances, bullying may involve a violation of the Civil Rights Act.
Anti-bullying initiatives have been implemented in all six Clarence Schools. All initiatives conform to stated policies and procedures and are based on:
- creation of a warm, caring school community
- Respect, Responsibility, and Kindness
- clear, unambiguous articulation of rules and consequences
- in-service training for school personnel
- documentation of all reports of bullying
- the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets
- School-wide implementation of PBIS
CLARENCE HIGH SCHOOL INITIATIVES:
- The Red Devil Way embodies the expectation that students should be respectful, responsible, and aware.
- QPR - Question, Persuade, and Refer. A 3-step approach to suicide prevention. CHS administrators, guidance counselors, lead teachers, social worker, and school nurse have been trained in QPR. With QPR, the following elements must be in place:
- Early recognition of suicide warning signs. The sooner warning signs are detected and help sought, the better the outcome of a suicide crisis will be.
- Early QPR. Asking someone about the presence of suicidal thoughts and feelings opens up a conversation that may lead to a referral for help.
- Early intervention and referral. Referral to local resources or calling 1-800-Suicide for evaluation and possible referral is critical, as most people thinking about suicide are suffering from an undiagnosed and/or untreated mental illness or substance abuse disorder for which excellent treatments exist. Also, the offering of hope and social and spiritual support can often avert a suicide attempt
- Early professional assessment and treatment. As with any illness, early detection and treatment results in better outcomes and fewer lives lost to suicide.
- Extracurricular opportunities and the sports program provide outlets and safe havens for students to pursue talents, hobbies or other interests.
- Reach Out
- a group that encourages positive and respectful interaction among
faculty and students with a focus on diversity, tolerance, and
acceptance in order to create an environment where all students feel
safe and welcome.
- SADD - Students Against Destructive Decisions. Young people, empowered to help one another are the most effective force in positive behavior modification. Incorporates community service projects, social activities, and conferences.
- Gay-Straight Alliance, a student-run support group.
CLARENCE MIDDLE SCHOOL INITIATIVES:
- PBIS Program at the Middle School
- Biannual Presentations by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
- Erie County Sheriff's Department presents material on bullying to 6th grade health students every year.
- SIT/PTO hosted parent information nights.
- Cyber-bullying addressed in Health classes.
- Cyber-bullying and Internet Safety topics covered in Gr. 6 Computer Applications class.
- Guidance staff coordinates lessons in homeroom or as a push-in.
- SIBS, Students Involved in the Betterment of School, an organization that provides students with leadership and service opportunities.
- Early intervention of reported bullying occurrences by house principals and guidance counselors. Parent concerns are also addressed immediately. Students are reminded during assemblies that bullying will not be tolerated and should not be endured.
- Random Acts of Kindness, a unit taught in Grade 7 ELA. Fiction and nonfiction pieces dealing with bullying and other related topics.
- Direct counseling to the victims and the bullies. Social skills groups address pro=social behaviors and skills, personal empowerment through self-confidence and coping skills.
- Mentor program for at-risk students.
CLARENCE CENTER INITIATIVES:
- Morning Program. Entire school community assembles in the gymnasium three times a week for announcements, celebrations and sharing. Promotes a sense of belonging and caring.
- Rachel's Challenge. A program designed to engender kindness, hope, and compassion. It is based on the theory that one act of kindness has the potential to start a chain reaction of similar acts. The theory was the subject of an essay written by Rachel Scott, a 17-year old student who died on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School.
- Communication and distribution of specific information about anti-bullying procedures to parents and school personnel.
- Age-appropriate discussions related to bullying conducted by teachers and other professional staff members using video clips, read alouds, and simulations.
- Staff uses the Olweus Bully Prevention Program, one of the only programs that has research to support its effectiveness.
HARRIS HILL INITIATIVES:
- HEROES Program - "Helping Everyone Respect Others & Self." The HEROES program was established 22 years and is designed to instruct students in various characteristics and values. Each year a committee of teachers and parents select a trait to emphasize. This year, with the introduction of PBIS at the elementary level, the committee has selected RESPECT as its characteristic of study.
- Grades 2-3 mini courses. School social worker provides age-appropriate instruction on building relationships and friendships.
- Grades 4-5 bullying program. School social worker and school psychologist conduct age-appropriate discussion on bullying.
- Digital citizenship. Library media specialist provides instruction in proper use of the Internet, communication via the Internet, and Internet Safety.
- School bus and cafeteria behavior guidelines and assigned adult supervision address less structured areas and potential bullying concerns.
- Heroes: Have One, Be One. Building-wide theme from 2009-2011 that promotes positive behavior through assemblies and classroom activities. Students are encouraged to identify heroes in their lives and how they, too, can be heroes.
- Grades 3-4-5 Mini Unit. School psychologist and social worker conduct age-appropriate lessons on bullying.
- Internet Safety Assemblies conducted annually by the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children for students in grades 3-5.
- Grade Level Assemblies conducted during the year by the principal to address making good choices and bullying.
- Assembly programs with character education/anti-bullying themes, such as the Show of Love presentation and Put Yourself in Their Shoes, which stress the importance of compassion and empathy.
- PBIS Matrix is posted in every classroom so there is universal and clear understanding of behavior expectations.
- Bullying and character education lessons are conducted by teachers throughout the school year.
- Cell phone use is prohibited at school.
SHERIDAN HILL INITIATIVES:
- Bully Prevention Program for students in grades 4-5, conducted by school psychologists. Lessons stresses detrimental effects of bullying on both the victim and the perpetrator.
- Bully Prevention Program for students in grades K-3, conducted by school social worker and school psychologist in an age-appropriate manner.
- Assembly programs with character education/anti-bullying themes, such as Glen Colton's Anti-Bullying program, the Show of Love presentation, Put Yourself in Their Shoes, which stresses the importance of compassion and empathy.
- Sheridan Hill Character Club. Efforts to promote and tie in the Developmental Assets with school-wide after hours events designed for all ages.
- Cyber-bullying information presented by the Library Media Specialist.
- Opportunities for fifth graders to develop leadership skills through activities such as daily morning announcements and the Safety Patrol.
- Building rules established and publicized in partnership with students, staff, and the principal.
- Classroom rules align with building and District expectations and are continually reinforced.
- Informal reinforcement of bully-free zone through Good Morning Sheridan Hill, classroom visits by the principal, and adequate adult supervision at arrival/dismissal, social events, hallways, and cafeteria.