School initiative addressing bullying - South Lake Press: News

Leesburg School initiative addressing bullying

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Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 6:00 am

A new Lake County schools district-wide anti-bullying initiative has been instrumental in making it easier for students to report bullying, school officials said.

Implemented at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, the initiative provides an anti-bullying curriculum for each school, which is managed under the Safe Schools department.

The initiative is “comprehensive about educating about diversity and differences in students,” said Bill Mathias, school board member. “We have also made it easier for students to feel comfortable reporting it. Those students that feel threatened are coming forward.”

The initiative defines bullying so administrators know how to spot it wherever it takes place in the school, said Pam Beeler, program specialist for Safe Schools.

School officials have reported 28 cases of bullying so far this school year. That’s eight more than in the 2012-13 school year.

A number of highly publicized anti-bullying measures have been attempted in the school district in the last two years:

Two students at Carver Middle School have been trying for two years to establish a Gay-Straight Alliance club to prevent bullying.

Stormy Rich, an 18-year-old Umatilla High School student, intervened to stop bullying of a girl with mental disabilities on a bus. As a result, she was kicked off the bus.

In 2013, the Lake County School Board recognized Cypress Elementary students Kristopher Ganesh, Jamie Munoz and Marleen Ryan for starting Bully Blockers, an anti-bullying program that includes Buddy, a mailbox fashioned out of cardboard to look like a huge osprey, the school’s mascot. Students can use the mailbox to deposit notes with concerns and questions related to bullying.

Now, 15-year-old country singer Lizzie Sider is speaking on the issue locally, where is she is addressing more than 100 schools all over the state. On Wednesday, she is planning a presentation at Tavares Elementary School, and on Thursday she will give presentations at Seminole Springs Elementary in Eustis and Windy Hill Middle School in Clermont.

According to an article in the Daytona Beach News-Journal , Sider said the issue is important to her because “I had experience with bullying when I was in elementary school.”

The News-Journal reported that her father gave her advice when she was dreading going to school.

“Nobody has the power to ruin your day,” he told her, according to the News-Journal .

School officials said the hardest issue to confront currently is cyberbullying found on social media sites and in other areas on the Internet.

“It is very difficult for the school district to track it,” said Chris Patton, spokesman for the school district. “Many times, it is occurring off campus and after school hours.”

Stuart Klatte, president of the Lake County Education Association, agreed.

“That is a delicate balance, dealing with cyberbullying especially,” he said. “The schools have tried to take a stand and deal with it when they can.”

Bullying is a complex problem, and it is hard to gauge how big of an issue it is in Lake County, Klatte said.

“A lot of it is going to be follow through from the administrators after the report has been made by either the student or teacher who has knowledge of it,” he said of tackling each case of bullying.

Tod Howard, school board member, said because there are so many programs on bullying it is imperative “to identify which ones are working and which ones are not.

“Instead of doing all the programs, we need to identify which ones are working and make sure they are being resourced properly,” he said.

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1 comment:

  • Darren M Meade posted at 10:15 am on Tue, Feb 25, 2014.

    Darren M Meade Posts: 1

    The reality is no measures can work as long as an automated cyber bullying technology used to generate defamatory content about children is the main sales driver for a $5 Billion dollar industry called Reputation Management. We're talking about a whole new strain of WMDs weapons of mass defamation. Think about it: What if allegations of pedophilia were to pop up the next time you Google your name? Or obscene stories about your wife or your daughter? When we're talking about the potential ruin of your career, your marriage, or your child's future, money is no object and these predators know it. When the time is right, you'll get an email and it'll be Reputation Management to the rescue antidote in one hand, anthrax in the other.

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    Look, I know I can't expect you to take my word for all this, partly because the Reputation management gang have already made good on their first threat to destroy my reputation online. Go ahead Google my name. It's mud if you don't already know me. But unfortunately for these guys, their death threats aren't the only thing I have on tape. I have the two-hour strategy session where they proposes how they can extort parents over their kids' futures. That sermon is available on a website called Ripoff Report. I also have over 20 additional hours of recordings all consensual that tie the entire operation together. They're now hosted offshore, beyond the reach of the Reputation Management goon attorneys, backed with detailed instructions in the event of my untimely demise.

    VISIT RIPOFF REPORT FOR MORE.

    Or, Google : Fox News Google-Cide