Bullying Prevention

No BullyingBullying or Normal Peer Conflict.  What Parents Need to Know.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." Certainly you have heard the adage, however we know it's not true. Words and actions can and do hurt, often times leaving emotional scars well into adulthood. But isn't it normal for kids to pick on each other? Isn't this a rite of passage that all children experience?

All children are subject to occasional teasing behavior or aggression. Social skills are developmental. Children gain a greater capacity for empathy, compromise and kindness to others as they mature cognitively and emotionally. Some children are repeatedly targeted. This is not normal peer conflict. The latter is referred to as bullying.

So whose problem is it? Often times bullying is viewed as a school issue. Research shows that bullying is most often reported at or around school grounds but we also know that bullying can and does take place off school property. The Lee's Summit School District has many resources and programs in place at the schools to address this issue. Our desire is to support these efforts by providing parents with a forum to discuss bullying and to receive sound information and resources.

I Can Make A Difference Bullying Prevention Program

The I Can Make a Difference prevention programs educate and empower students to take a positive stand against bullying.  Facilitated by Lee's Summit CARES, these educational programs target students in kindergarten, fifth, sixth grade, middle school and high school.  Workshops are available between 8:30 am - 3:00 pm.

Kindergarten: 25 Minute Program

Students are read the book One by Kathryn Otoshi. The book uses color and number illustrations to discuss bullying and the importance of witnesses standing together to stop bullying. Students are taught ways to stand up and COUNT. Parents are given a letter that shares how to stand up as well as additional resources. Each classroom is given a poster that lists 6 ways to COUNT.

Fifth Grade: 45 Minute Program
Students watch a revised version of the documentary, Bully, directed by Lee Hirsch. The documentary provides a glimpse into the lives of youth who are bullied. Students then participate in a group activity designed to teach them ways to take a stand against bullying. At the conclusion of the workshop students watch a video of Alex one year later to see how taking a stand against bullying changed his life.
Sixth Grade: 45 Minute Program
Students learn about cyber-bullying by watching real life stories published through NetSmartz. Students work in groups to answer a series of questions designed to get them thinking about how to prevent and respond to cyber-bullying. Students also learn about on-line safety and ways to protect their personal information. Parents are given a letter with tips and resources for staying safe on line.
Middle School
Currently work is underway to secure grant funds to implement a middle school program that includes:
1) Staff training
2) Establishing a process for students to report bullying and a follow up process
3) Educational program for 8th grade students
4) Additional resources for parents, students and staff
High School: 45 Minute Program
Developed by high school students, this program discusses common types of bullying experienced by high school students. Students created a video that includes the following scenarios
1) Sex-ting
2) Discrimination
3) Teacher/coach
4) Exclusion
5) Threats of physical harm

After each scenario students are asked to process what they would do.
Parents: 45 Minute Program
Lee’s Summit CARES in collaboration with the Lee’s Summit Police Department facilitates a workshop for parents on Internet Safety/technology use. The workshop provides information on:
1) Usage trends among local youth
2) Cyber-bullying
3) Predators
4) Frequently investigated problems
5) Tips for how to establish expectations for technology use and handling problems with misuse

Parents are given free monitoring software, a sample technology use contract and tip sheet with additional resources.
Evaluation
All programs are evaluated by participants with the exception of the kindergarten program which is evaluated by teachers. A summary of the evaluation will be sent to the school counselor within two weeks of the workshop.