In the Jordan Public Schools we take the issue of bullying very seriously. Starting in elementary school all students learn the importance of being safe, responsible and respectful. These three basic tenants are part of our school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program.
We give a great deal of positive reinforcement of kindness towards others. Children who go out of their way to do something kind for another student or staff member are often rewarded with a J-Town Pride Pass. The importance of safety, responsibility and respectfulness are routinely reinforced by staff in the classroom, hallways, lunchroom, playground, on the bus and on field trips.
While every effort is made to recognize students engaging in positive behavior, we are also vigilant about addressing inappropriate behaviors when they happen. At the elementary school level we understand that kids are just learning to work together in a cooperative manner. We talk extensively with students about the difference between conflict and bullying behavior. Conflict may happen when students struggle getting along, disagree with one another, or can't find the right words to explain how they are feeling. We use the words, "our feelings got big" and help students understand how to communicate their feelings with their peers and adults to best advocate for their needs.
When students exhibit behaviors that could be characterized as bullying we see it as a teaching opportunity for all students involved. We define bullying behavior as:
- An act that happens again and again to a student, usually done by the same person or group of people
- There is an imbalance of power; one person is older, bigger in stature, or there's a group of students against one/few student(s)
- A student feels like the act was so traumatic that he/she doesn't want to come to school out of fear or worry that the act will happen again
We spend time working with students who have been the victim of bullying behavior; we reinforce that no one deserves to be intentionally harmed either emotionally or physically. We encourage them to stick up for themselves by saying “stop” to those who are bullying them and then walk away. We also work with the students who have demonstrated the bullying behavior to get to the root of their actions. Consequences for bullying behavior are tailored to each individual situation so that they are both meaningful and logical.
While working directly with the individuals involved is essential to resolving each specific situation, the goal behind our PBIS efforts is to create a school-wide culture in which bullying behavior is not acceptable. We work very hard to build a sense of community so that if any student sees a classmate being bullied they will immediately either tell the student bullying to stop, get the victim out of the situation, or go get an adult for help.
You, as parents/guardians, are one of our greatest resources. If bullying incidents happen at school or on the bus and your child comes home to tell you about it, please send an email to your child's teacher, school social worker, or building administrator. You can also use the online JES Bully/Incident Report Form. We want both you and your child to feel like we are on the same team with the common goal of learning in a safe environment.
Jordan Elementary School Support Staff are available to support students. If you have questions or are facing challenging times, don't hesitate to call or stop in the office for support.