While National Bullying Month (October) has come and gone, the important work in schools teaching students to recognize and call atttention to such behavior remains an ongoing effort.
“Our goal at Union Community Schools is to create a positive school culture where all students are safe, supported, and have the opportunity to grow,” said Union High School Counselor Amy Kriz.
Earlier this year, students in the elementary schools learned the difference between being mean and being bullied, what bullying looks like, the four roles in the cycle of bullying and how to be an upstander (someone who stands up against a bullying situation) instead of a bystander.
Union Middle School’s fifth year implementing Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports focuses on positive teacher-student interactions.
Union High School has partnered with the University of Northern Iowa to implement a program called Mentors in Violence Prevention, which seeks to empower silent observers in situations where bullying and violence is unfolding.
“It’s great that our school district is trying to take a stand against bullying but it takes a collaborative effort between schools, students, parents, and communities to teach that bullying and gender violence are wrong and to change our bystander population,” Kriz stated.

Bully Prevention: Tips for Parents and Caregivers

Talk to children about bullying including any of your own experiences and views.
Listen. Let children tell you what they see and experience around them.
Make sure children know who they can turn to for help whether it’s for themselves or a friend.
Become active in the schools through the parent teacher association or within classroom/school activities.
Stay active in your communication with your child’s teacher(s).
If you work with students through your church or community activities such as youth sport leagues, consider attending a training on bullying prevention.
Check out anti-bullying books from your local library to read together.
Stay aware of our school district’s bullying and harassment policy.
Intervene immediately if you witness bullying.

Want to learn more or see videos on bullying? Two great sites to visit include StopBullying.gov and TheBullyProject.com.