House lawmakers push school bullying prevention
New legislation introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), called The Safe Schools Improvement Act, that if passed, will prohibit bullying based on race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or religion. The legislation would grant schools funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to create policies that address these concerns.
Under the bill, districts would be required to provide annual notice of this policy to students, parents and educators. Additionally, districts would have to publicly report the frequency of bullying incidents. The bill would further authorize the Department of Education to collect data from states which will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-bullying programs in elementary and secondary schools every two years.
For more on the proposed legislation, read this blog post on The Hill.
Overcoming Bullying to Create Positive Change in 3 Steps
The long-term effects bullying can have on students is not news to many. It can lead to a higher risk of depression, obesity, substance abuse and more. To stop bullying in its tracks and to prevent these long-term effects, a professor from the Educational Psychology department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, suggests the following three steps:
- Reporting Incidents: Allowing students who are bullied, bystanders and even bullies to be able to report their incidents is powerful because it gives them a voice. Moving away from the traditional “tell a teacher” model and toward an online format allows students to submit reports anytime and anywhere.
- Reviewing Incidents: When one or more administrators are designated to review submitted reports, there will be a consistent process for reviewing, validating and documenting an incident. This process can pinpoint insight into school climate and hot topics that require further attention.
- Resolving Incidents: Districts should use evidence-based resolution tactics. With the correct guidance, resolved bullying incidents can serve as teachable moments and deter future negative behavior.
WORKS' Student Bullying & Violence Prevention Program (SBVPP) provides staff and student training, reporting tools, written plans and more to help your district implement and sustain a comprehensive bullying prevention program. To learn more about how your district could benefit from the SBVPP, email us today.
Tweeting Responsibly: School Athletes
A recent article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press suggests that social media has a big impact on students' futures, particularly those who are being recruited for collegiate athletics. College coaches have started following their prospects on Twitter, which is forcing student athletes to think before they tweet.
Not only are coaches paying attention for inappropriate posts which could threaten a student's chance for a scholarship, many coaches feel that what a player posts reflects who they are as a person and can help determine a player's mentality.
Student athletes who have made it through the recruiting process while being active on social media have advice for those about to go through the process: be mindful. As for the coaches, some warn that retweeting every article mention about the high school athlete raises some red flags.
Learning digital citizenship and social media responsibility is important for student athletes, as well as all students, teachers, coaches and other school employees. What resources do you provide students and teachers to make sure they tweet responsibly? To check out our 15-minute "Social Media: Personal and Professional Use" online training course, email us today.
Awards Roundup: Nominations are now open!
Over the years we have been able to rely on your support in nominating our products for numerous awards. Two awards programs - T.H.E. Journal's Readers' Choice Awards and District Administration's Top 100 Products - are now accepting nominations for the best products of 2015.
The voting period for T.H.E. Journal's Readers' Choice Awards will close on Friday, August 14, 2015. Nominating a product is easy: go to http://thejournal.com/pages/surveys/2015-readers-choice-voting.aspx and fill out the short survey.
To nominate EmployeeSafe and/or StudentWatch for District Administration's Top 100 Products Awards, go to http://www.districtadministration.com/top-products and briefly describe how our product has positively impacted your daily processes and responsibilities. The deadline for nominations is Monday, September 7, 2015.
We hope you will share these links with your colleagues to help generate more nominations. As always, we thank you!