In the Jordan school district 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 (SW-PBIS) program.
We give a great deal of positive reinforcement for acts 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 “caught you being good” award. The importance of safety, responsibility and respectfulness are routinely reinforced by staff during classroom meetings and all-school assemblies.
While every effort is made to catch children engaging in an act of kindness, we are also vigilant about addressing issues of bullying when they do happen. At the elementary school level we understand that kids are just learning to work together in a cooperative manner. When students exhibit behaviors that could be characterized as bullying we see it as a teaching opportunity for all students involved. 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 walking away. We also work with the students who have demonstrated the bullying behavior to get to the root of their anger. 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 SW-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. This year we will be implementing another way for incidence of bullying to be reported. I have created a “bully box” which will be located in the media center. If students witness a bullying incident or feel they are being bullied themselves, they can write down what happened and put it in the box. I will check the box on a weekly basis and address all situations. Not all students are comfortable verbalizing bullying incidents. The “bully box” is an attempt to give those traditionally apprehensive kids a less threatening way of reporting.
You, as parents, 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 your child’s teacher or me an email or give one of us a call. You can also use the online JHS 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 High School Counselors, Social Worker, School Psychologist and Chemical Health Specialist are available to support students. If you have questions or are facing challenging times, don't hesitate to call or stop in the Counseling Office for support. Your school counselors can be your first stop when concerns arise.