A major area of focus for the Mariemont City School District is bullying prevention and the development and maintenance of a positive school climate.
At the elementary level, we use the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program, a nationally renowned, whole-school bullying curriculum aimed at grades K-6 on a school, classroom and individual level. At the junior high and high school levels, we began a peer-to-peer program, Sources of Strength, as a support for our school climate initiatives. We are using the knowledge and insight that students at this age can give to continue to guide the program. It is our hope that by putting these programs in place and raising awareness about this issue, we can strategically ensure that bullying prevention a major area of focus district-wide, and, in turn, provide the most positive learning environments possible in our schools.
We would like to ensure that every person, every child that enters our buildings feels welcome and safe. According to a study conducted by the National Association of School Psychologists, bullying is the most common form of violence in our society; between 15% and 30% of students are bullies or victims. This is unacceptable. We must do everything in our power to provide a secure and positive environment for all of our students to reach their full potential as scholars of today and leaders of tomorrow.
Historically, we have addressed bullying prevention through successful programs at all levels in our district, and have developed a coordinated and systematic K-12 approach to bullying prevention that is based upon our own data.
The district currently takes the following steps: We survey students anonymously grades 3-12 every year through to gather data on bullying issues in our district; we develop specific programs to address and educate and train students and staff; we have implemented a 24-hour anonymous bullying reporting system (both online and via telephone); we provide online resources; and we offer student, staff and parent support through our counseling and school psychology department.
Our district-wide bullying prevention efforts require the participation and commitment of students, parents, educators and members of the community. The prevention of bullying cannot be a one-year focus – we must remain persistently vigilant and work together to maintain a safe and positive environment for all of our children to ensure they can thrive academically, socially, physically and emotionally.