This program has become successful at the Midway elementary school in Utah, because it is ran off of four hallmarks which are: Lead to systematic change, garner commitment for all, teach comprehensive strategies and skills and continue year after year. Within the paper, I will discuss my belief of the succession of this type of program in an elementary school setting in inner city Philadelphia schools. Bully Prevention Program In recent years, bullying within schools has become one of the most serious issues we have been faced with.
Data shows that children as young as age 11 have committed suicide because they were no longer able to deal with the pressure of being bullied. Because of this and other factors involving school bullying, congress have begun to work on a legislation called the safe school improvement act, which require schools to collect data and establish certain guidelines regarding disciplinary actions and they must also come up with a system to register complaints to combat bullying within their schools.
However, since this is not a law that has been enacted, Brent Burnham, a school counselor at Midway Elementary School in Midway, Utah has decided to implement her own school wide bullying prevention program at her school. The bully prevention program at Midway elementary was implemented 7 years ago. Within the program, Burnham has developed four core principles that she believes has made their program successful. The first of the four principles is, lead to systematic change. This principle says that there must be a change within the school at all levels and there must be a change ithin the community as well, because in order for the program to be successful, you must change the culture of the schools environment.
The second principle that Burnham implemented was garner commitment for all. This principle says that all of the schools staff, including the school bus driver, should be on board with the implementation of the program for the program to be a success. The third principle in the bully prevention program is, to teach comprehensive strategies and skills.
This principle says that effective programs must be comprehensive and there are certain skills that are required by the staff so that they can identify a bullying situation. And the final principle is to continue year after year. In order for the program to be a full success, it must be consistent in what it provides. Often times, schools will start a program but will not follow through with it year after year and the program will then fizzle out. The bully prevention program at Midway elementary also has key components which are implemented sequentially.
These components are, administrative support: you must have the support from the staff and the school administration, and a strong support team. Data: proper record keeping must be kept; also the program should be evaluated. Staff training: all staff should be trained on how to recognize and identify bullies and their victims and also be able to determine if a situation is a true violation of the no bullying policy that has been set forth. Student awareness and education: all should be fully aware of the bully policy and clear on the consequences if the policy is violated.
There should also be lessons taught to the students about bullying and bully prevention. Critical social skills training to the students: Once the basics have been taught to the students, they will still need additional training on this policy so continuous guidance lesson plans will need to be developed and taught throughout the school. Lastly, targeted intervention for bullies and victims: by keeping proper records of the bullying incident that occur within the school, it will be easy to identify bullies and their targeted victims. Once these children are identified, there will be specific programs for these children.
The bullies will express why it is they bully and help will be provided to those students and the victims so they can try to get over the fear they may have. After reading this article, I find that there are some pros and cons to this type program being implemented at inner city schools in Philadelphia. One pro of having this type of program would be to lower the crime rate within the schools. Often times, children bullying other children lead to more violent crimes, for instance, the shooting that happened at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado.
Two students embarked on a massacre killing 12 of their classmates and one teacher because they were fed up with being bullied. By having this type of program and addressing these issues early, these types of crimes or less serious crimes can be prevented. Another pro to this type of program is that it teaches children social skills and teach them how to manager their anger and behavior. This program can increase the children’s level of awareness on how bullying can extremely affect their victims and themselves.
Another pro to the bully prevention program is that it offers training to the staff. This is a great idea so that everyone will be on the same page in the fight to eliminate and prevent bullying. Also, providing intervention to the bullies is great as well. You have to teach children things while they are young. If this type of program is successfully implemented in elementary schools and in middle and high schools, bullying can be virtually eliminated. However, with pros, there are also cons to the program. One con is trying to get everyone on board.
Within the city of Philadelphia, it is historically known that many parents do not partake in their child’s education in the manner that they should, this is one reason why the high school dropout rate is so high. So; trying to get parents on board for the no bullying program may be hard. Since this program is set up for all stakeholders to be involved, without parents help, the program may not be as successful. Another con to this program is the term and definition of bullying being misunderstood and misinterpreted by the staff that is to put into action the consequences for this behavior.
What you do not want to happen is, children who are simply horse playing or just kidding around with one another being accused of bullying when that was not the case. The training to the staff must be thorough and put into clear plain terms so little is left to be assumed. With bullying becoming an epidemic, I believe this type of program is definitely needed and has the potential to be successful within all levels of schools within the School District of Philadelphia.
The program may need to be tweaked for each grade level (elementary, middle and high school) but if it is implemented properly it could be a success. School counselors are in a unique position with having to put in place such a program and to be sure that it work, but this is why they are trained very well to address these types of social emotional behaviors. Although the pros of having such a program out weight the cons, the major problem that could be a potential road block for implementing the program is funding.
The School District of Philadelphia has reached a plateau in its budget deficit and recently laid off many of its employees including the superintendent. However, with the right proposal for the program, I can not see this being turned down by the board. I think this is something that is definitely needed so that we as counselors can save our children and our community.