The Oracle School District is working hard to stop bullying
Dennis Blauser, School Superintendent
The students and staff in the Oracle School District have committed themselves to stopping bullying and making sure that every child has the opportunity to learn in a safe and positive environment. While bullying in schools and the workplace has always existed there is a powerful movement to no longer tolerate this type of behavior. To tackle this problem the first thing that had to take place was educating students, staff and parents on what bullying really is and then to develop schoolwide procedures to stop it. Bullying is a term that is often incorrectly applied to negative behaviors. The two main components of true bullying versus other negative behaviors are that there is a power difference between the aggressor and the victim and the behavior is repeated. Helping people understand a problem is the first step in correcting the behavior.
To implement this program the Oracle School District developed a student advocacy team that did workshops with all grade levels to help students understand and recognize bullying and then to learn and practice strategies to stop bullying. The advocacy team was made up of a cross section of seventh and eighth grade students who were trained to teach the anti-bullying program. The program focused on defining anti-bullying roles for adults, victims, bystanders and the students doing the bullying. These roles were modeled and taught by the students to everyone in the district.
To maintain momentum that was gained by implementing this program and to stay focused there are several anti-bullying activities scheduled for this school year. Recently the district held an anti-bullying poster contest focusing on techniques the students have learned and practiced. All students participated and three grand prize winners were selected from grade level categories. Not only did these students win a prize, their home room classrooms were also rewarded. All of the top posters from each class are currently displayed throughout the district.