No school is immune to bullying. Schools across metro Detroit are trying to find ways to fight back against this serious problem.
There are so many schools that are trying to address the issue, but we recently visited a few schools for a look at how they are trying to tackle the issue.
At South Lake High School in St. Clair Shores, one tool they've used is "Rachel's Challenge."
The uncle of Columbine victim, Rachel Scott, spoke to students and shared Rachel's heartbreaking and inspirational story. From there, students have been "challenged" with projects to foster kindness and stop the bullying.
Since that presentation, students have started working on a random acts of kindness chain. Nice things they've done for others or kind deeds others have done for them are written on a piece of paper and linked to form a chain. It's just one small piece of their efforts to keep the conversation going and on the minds of students and staff.
"Our goal would be to wrap it around the school and the hallways so students can see the visual of what they're doing or what others have done for them," says Lauren Wells, assistant principal at South Lake HS.
"We have not eliminated bullying. If any school has please tell me how to do it, but at same time small steps can be taken to promote the safety of the students and that’s what we’d like to see," says South Lake HS teacher Kyle Kevonian.
At Beer Middle School in Warren, principal Annette Lauria says they've used a program called "Kids Empowered" which provides training to students, parents and staff on how to take a stand against bullying.
"It seems like in middle school is when students develop that mean behavior. We see it on a weekly basis. It wasn't that we had rise in bullying, but we wanted to be proactive," says Lauria.
Beer Middle School is also getting ready for "Anti-Bullying Week" to start on Monday, May 16th. It will be a week full of activities, pledges and projects to stop the bullying.
At Larson Middle School in Troy, they recently had a week of activities promoting peace.
Teacher Nancy Lining says "It’s a big problem everywhere. Cyberbullying has changed things a lot since we were growing up."\
Resources for parents to help their children cope with bullying:
Here are some links to resources that can help schools, parents and kids:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free, 24-hour, 7-day a week hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. In Detroit and Wayne County, Lifeline calls are routed to Neighborhood Service Organization's Emergency Telephone Service/Suicide Prevention Center. In Detroit and Wayne County, Lifeline calls are routed to Neighborhood Service Organization's Emergency Telephone Service/Suicide Prevention Center. Please add our crisis line numbers to your website as a suicide resource on your website. The local number for Detroit is the Neighborhood Service Organization - Wayne County Crisis Line 313-224-7000 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
SAMHSA - Center for Substance Abuse Prevention also offers free online trainings on various topics including suicide and bullying. This site we offer prevention courses that are free to the public. Some courses are meant for professionals and have continuing education credits available. Other courses are designed to provide helpful information to members of the general public interested in prevention topics. http://pathwayscourses.samhsa.gov/
The Jason Foundation staff development program provides specialized training for educators, law enforcement, youth leaders and others who work closely with youth. These training seminars promote awareness and prevention through information that is pertinent to the relationships and interactions that exist between educators or youth workers and their students. They also suggest resources that can be used to help a depressed or suicidal student. http://www.jasonfoundation.com/seminars/training/
The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide FREE online teacher training: The free, interactive series Making Educators Partners in Suicide Prevention is designed to be completed at the viewer's own pace. It provides two hours of professional development credit to New Jersey educators but is open to anyone who is interested in reviewing current strategies for youth suicide/bullying prevention in schools. http://spts.pldm.com/