Bullying is the most common kind of violence in schools today and it impacts the entire community. The Sunnyvale School District, in partnership with Project Cornerstone, is committed to helping our students feel valued and respected so they can grow into healthy, caring, and responsible adults. Administrators, teachers, parents, and students district-wide are very involved in the anti-bullying trainings and workshops that are helping our schools reduce bullying by creating a caring climate where more students are able to succeed socially, emotionally and academically.
Individually, all of our schools are continuing to build positive relationships by teaching students respect, tolerance, honesty, and peaceful conflict resolution. For example, Fairwood Elementary School has had students serve as “Peace Patrol” members, monitoring recess and passing out “Spirit Cards” to students they see following the rules, being kind, or helping their classmates. This year, Fairwood will have monthly “Upstander” Awards; students may nominate each other for being “Upstanders”… standing up for them or someone else, and/or helping each other in a positive way.
Cumberland Elementary School has trained parent volunteers in every classroom through Project Cornerstone, sharing stories and lessons from books each month. Some of the topics include: being a good friend, standing up for yourself, respecting yourself and others, and kindness. October was anti-bullying month and Cumberland held a Theater Works presentation entitled ‘Oskar and The Big Bully Battle’ where students, Kindergarten through 5th grade, observed the importance of kindness through relatable yet entertaining characters on stage.
With all the technology available to our students, “cyber bullying” has now become a disturbing occurrence nationwide. Sunnyvale Middle School not only has a very successful “Just Be Kind” program in place (begun last spring) but will also be holding several cyber bullying assemblies during the school year. Presented by Sunnyvale Public Safety officers, the assemblies will focus on internet safety and how to make smart media choices.
Being a good role model, encouraging your child to tell adults if he/she sees bullying, and setting a good example in your use of language (e.g., not using putdowns or insults) are all good examples of what we can do as parents or guardians to reinforce the lessons our students are receiving at school and help them build positive social relationships for years to come.
Article by Deborah Dodge