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District Wide Anti-Bullying Program

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   HOPEDALE- Two Harrison Hills City Schools are doing their part to bring an end to bullying by kicking off a new district-wide program.

   Harrison East Elementary and Harrison North Elementary Schools are implementing a district-wide version of the Olweus Anti-Bullying Program. Started two years ago at the former Harrison Jr. High in Scio, the success of the Swiss-based concept has led to an expansion of the program in all Harrison Hills Schools. Among its goals are to reduce existing bullying problems among students, prevent new problems, achieve better peer relations at school and create a positive school climate. The Olweus program is based upon 35 years of research and successful worldwide implementation. It is a long-term, system-wide program for change involving not only the school, but also the individual, classroom and community. Businesses are encouraged to become Bully-Free Zones so bullying victims have a safe haven off-campus.

   Sandy Leggett, principal of Harrison East in Hopedale, began the original program while heading HJH. She said results were seen in short order following its implementation, such as a positive change in behaviors and increased incident reports due to a strengthened relationship between students and adults.
   “I know the problem exists and I know we need to fix it for the kids,” she said. “I volunteered to do [this district-wide] because I believe in it that much and I believe in the kids that much.“

  Harrison East has been conducting events leading up to this Friday’s kickoff, starting with Favorite Team Day on Monday where students wore uniforms or colors depicting their choice team. On Tuesday, they donned ball caps, cowboy hats and other headgear for Hat Day. Wednesday was PJ Day for grades 4-6 and Sock Day for Pre-K-3 and reversed on Thursday for the respective grades. The program officially starts Friday with skits and other activities open to the community at 9:30 a.m. Students will wear their “Huskies Are Bully-Free” T-shirts and partake in festivities in the gym that morning before moving back to class in the afternoon. The agenda includes breakfast and attendance in homeroom with a review of anti-bullying shirts and distribution of the T-shirts, plus a puzzle activity. The program in the gym includes appearances by the Harrison Central Jr./Sr. High Cheerleaders, a pep song by the high school band, introductions by the principal, a program overview, teacher skit and distribution of bracelets. Classes recess at 10:30 a.m. and return at 1:10 p.m. to watch a movie, make anti-bullying posters, receive magnets and attend a class meeting. Staff members will also be assigned to homerooms to help work with the students, while concern boxes will be added so pupils can anonymously submit comments or issues for discussion and possible resolution.

Harrison North Elementary in Scio will celebrate next week with Blackout day (wearing black clothes) on Monday, Hats Off Day on Tuesday, Peace Day (Hippie clothing) on Wednesday and Husky colors on
Thursday. Its kickoff is set for Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. in Barr Memorial Gym with appearances by the HCHS Cheerleaders, Pep Band, Huskies football teammates and Biddy Cheerleaders.

   Principal Clara Joyce said the business and political representatives were invited to join in and everyone will learn how they could help make schools safer for learning. The program is similar to Harrison East in that it will include skits, a pep assembly, songs, video and bully-free memorabilia. Pupils will head back for class meetings in the afternoon.

  “We want students to come and be successful and have good self-esteem,” Joyce said. “They should not be afraid of school and bullies should look at their own behavior and see how it affects others. This is hopefully going to give bystanders the techniques to stop and help [a bullied student] as they’d want to be helped in this situation.”

  Meanwhile, Harrison Central has scheduled its activity for January.

  Superintendent Dr. George Ash said the impact the program has already made on one school could go even further at all three sites.

  “The goal of this program is to make our schools safer. School is a place for kids to learn and make the most of themselves, not to face bullying or live in fear on a regular basis. Bullying can lead to increased school absence and lowered self-esteem,” Dr. Ash said. “As a district, we want to ensure our students receive the best education in a safe environment, and thanks to Mrs. Leggett and the coordinating committees at each building, we will do just that.”

Source: Harrison Hills School District

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Larry Bertolino

Larry Bertolino

Owner at myLocalPCpro
Larry Bertolino is a 31 year old, U.S Navy Veteran and currently sitting on the board of Directors for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, as well as Harrison County Rural Transit.
Larry Bertolino
Larry Bertolino

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Posted by on September 29, 2011, 10:23 am. Filed under Community, Kids & Youth. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry