By Richard Bammer
In an hour-long virtual news conference, Monday, state schools chief Tony Thurmond announced new efforts to combat increased cases of hate, bigotry and racism in California schools and communities, the “Education to End Hate” initiative.
Thurmond said that the California Department of Education will lead a series of strategies— including educator training grants, partnerships with community leaders, and virtual classroom sessions — that uses the power of education to create a more just society.
“We do not need any more evidence that our country is facing two pandemics: coronavirus and hate. It feels like every day we are seeing heartbreaking examples: more anti-Semitic behavior, bullying of Asian American students because of our president’s rhetoric, Islamophobia, discrimination of our LGBTQ neighbors, and violence directed at people of color,” Thurmond said. “It’s time to double down on our efforts to combat all forms of hate, bias, and bigotry. By digging deeper into the complexities of our diverse and difficult histories — not denying or ignoring them — I believe education can provide the pathway to healing, understanding, and racial and social justice.”
Source: State schools chief announces new initiative: ‘Education to End Hate’ – The Reporter
By Beth Dalbey
Several teen celebrities are taking on the stereotype that smart, beautiful and kind kids can’t be bullied in a new video, “Girls Against Bullying,” that encourages the practice of empathy. The video underscores how rampant bullying has become and that girls are targeted more often than boys.
The video features more than two dozen girls, including Oona Laurence, Milly Shapiro, Donshea Hopkins, Hawwaa Ibrahim and Nerghiz Sarki. It was produced by No Bully, one of the country’s leading anti-bullying advocacy groups, in partnership with The Kind Coalition, which aims to record 100,000 acts of kindness in 2019 through its #100KChooseKind social media challenge.
Source: ‘Girls Against Bullying’: Teen Celeb Video Sends Powerful Message | Across America, US Patch
By Matt O’Donnell
An accomplished former professional and college basketball player, no one bullies Eric Crookshank these days.
But it wasn’t that long ago when Crookshank was just a young kid growing up, trying to find his way on Marin Street in West Vallejo.
Crookshank, 39, has been trying to spread awareness about childhood bullying through his organization — Bench Bullying. He held alumni games and a 3-point shooting contest at Jesse Bethel High School on Saturday.
“Growing up without a lot of financial help, I was bullied a lot,” Crookshank said. “When I played basketball, I was bullied as well. I decided to take the celebrity I have now and convert that into a positive.”
Source: Hogan High grad Crookshank tackles bullying during event at Jesse Bethel
By Beth Dalbey
A heartbreaking rash of suicides among adolescents and young teens illustrates how debilitating bullying and cyberbullying, the online form of childhood hazing, can be. A new campaign to combat it is aimed at where bullying most often starts, according to research, most pervasive: in middle schools.
The idea behind the Middle School Kindness Challenge, a project of the nonprofit group Stand for Children, is to make learning about kindness and being kinder to one another as much a part of daily school activities as reading and arithmetic. By April 15, the group hopes every middle school in America will sign up for the free, 30-day, research based online program to teach and foster kindness.
Source: Kindness Challenge Confronts Bullying Where It Happens Most | Across America, US Patch
By Kimberly K. Fu
Ani Kinsey is sweet, smart and spunky.
The 11-year-old Suisun City youth is also a victim of bullying who turned the hurtful experience into a campaign against hate.
Sitting in her kitchen Friday, the double pig-tailed youngster with the shy smile shared the beginnings of her anti-bullying project.
Last year, the sixth grader at the Fairfield-Suisun Public Safety Academy was waiting for her turn onstage at a school talent show. She had been practicing and practicing Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love,” excited to perform in front of her mom, Anisa.
Source: Suisun City 11-year-old battles bullying with kindess
By Daily Republic Staff
The Vacaville Youth Collaborative’s fall summit Saturday will explore the teen social issues highlighted in the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”
The daylong event provides a guided discussion with social leaders around the topics of peer pressure, teen alcohol use, sexual assault and rape, bullying, and suicide prevention.
Source: Teen summit to explore bullying, peer pressure, suicide prevention
By Richard Bammer
A Kindness Video Contest presentation, recommended budget reductions for the 2017-18 year, and the sunshining of a classified contract proposal are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet Thursday in Fairfield.
As they have recently at other area trustee meetings, staff from the offices of Supervisor John Vasquez and District Attorney Krishna Abrams will present information about a contest the two have devised: The Power of Kindness.
The seven-member governing board is expected to approve a resolution in support of the video contest.
In a presentation earlier this month to Vacaville Unified trustees, Vasquez and Tonya Covington, representing Abrams, told trustees that their families had been affected by bullying.
The contest asks students, through video, to illustrate positive behavior and show others the power that kindness can have on their school and community.
Source: Kindness contest, proposed budget reductions on Fairfield-Suisun district agenda
By Richard Bammer
The beginning of the annual review of LCAP goals, discussion about the harmful effects of bullying, and configuration models for elementary schools are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.
Mike Walbridge, assistant superintendent for educational services, will lead the discussion about the district’s first and second goals under its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), the document in California districts that typically guides all spending, particularly for English learners, poor students, and foster youth.
Goal No. 1, according to agenda documents, is providing “a well-rounded, relevant curriculum,” with a specific focus tonight of K-8 intervention programs. Goal No. 2 is an effort to “engage all students in continued learning” based on state standards.
Source: Bullying, elementary school configurations on Dixon Unified agenda tonight
By Richard Bammer
From Vacaville-area school hallways to the offices at the California Department of Education in Sacramento, educators say they will not tolerate bullying or discrimination in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president.
Kris Corey, superintendent of Fairfield-Suisun Unified, and Jane Shamieh, superintendent of Vacaville Unified, and Brian Dolan, superintendent of Dixon Unified, said they have heard reports of “minor incidents” of bullying and racially-tinged comments at their respective campuses.
Source: Post-election, local educators report ‘minor incidents’ of bullying, discrimination – The Reporter
By Kristin DeCarr
A new study performed by researchers at Syracuse and New York Universities takes a closer look at bullying within the school system, finding that students at the top of a grade span, more commonly referred to as “top dogs,” have a better experience than those on the bottom.
The report, “Do Top Dogs Rule in Middle School? Evidence on Bullying, Safety, and Belonging,” found that schools with larger grade spans typically have less instances of bullying. The authors state that as students move through grade levels, they take on more of a leadership role and are less likely to be bullied by other students within the school.
After studying reports from more than 90,000 students in over 500 city schools broken up into grade ranges of K-8, K-6, 6-8, 5-8, and 6-12, results were found matching those from a 2011 study performed by some of the same lead researchers, which found traditional elementary and middle school age ranges were worse for student test scores.
Source: Bullying Less Common In Schools With Larger Grade Spans
By NPR Staff
You’re at a cafeteria, you’ve got your lunch … and then you just don’t know where to sit. You don’t want to sit alone, but you also don’t know who would be friendly and let you sit with them. Sixteen-year-old Natalie Hampton has been there. She’s an 11th-grader from Sherman Oaks, Calif., and the creator of a new app called Sit With Us.
Hampton recently spoke about the app with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish. A transcript of their conversation follows, edited for clarity.
Source: Teen Creates App So Bullied Kids Never Have To Eat Alone : The Salt : NPR
By Evie Blad
Some common ways schools work to prevent and respond to bullying are ineffective and, in some cases, counterproductive, a panel of researchers assembled by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine wrote in a report released today.
Tough penalties for bullying, which have grown popular as public awareness of its effects has grown, may actually make the problem worse, the researchers found. That’s because victims may view the consequences as too harsh or fear retaliation, which may keep them from reporting bullying.
Zero-tolerance policies, which lead to suspensions for offenders, “are not effective at reducing bullying and thus should be discontinued, with the resources redirected to evidence-based policies and programs,” the report says.
Source: Tough Penalties for Bullying Ineffective; Broader Approach Needed, Report Says – Rules for Engagement – Education Week
By Linda Flanagan
After years of dealing with school bullying through traditional punishments, Carolyne Quintana, the principal of Bronxdale High School in New York City, introduced restorative justice approaches at her school because she wanted students to feel trusted and cared for.
“It wasn’t just about bullying incidents, it was about the whole school culture,” she said.
To build community and handle “instances of harm” among the students, teachers bring the kids together to talk in “restorative circles,” where everyone has an opportunity to listen and be heard. Bronxdale uses circles for most of its group communications, including parent meetings and ninth-grade orientation. The circles are a natural outgrowth of the Socratic method teachers use in class, Quintana said.
Source: How to Develop a School Culture That Helps Curb Bullying | MindShift | KQED News
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
More than 60 Green Valley Middle School seventh- and eighth-graders rose to the challenge Monday.
The challenges of Challenge Day involved hugs, some patty cake playing and the opportunity to stand before the group and compliment someone.
The goal of the all-school-day session was to break down barriers and encourage the students to be the change they want to see.
Participants were nominated by their teachers. Crowd-source funding raised enough for T-shirts and lunch for the participants.
via Middle school students up for challenges of Challenge Day.
By Kristin DeCarr
A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that certain state laws have aided in the reduction of bullying and cyber-bullying among teenagers.
A 2013 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saw around 20% of high school students report being the victim of bullying while on school grounds within the last 12 months. In a separate question, 15% of those surveyed said they had been cyberbullied within the past year.
Over the past 10 years, many states have implemented prevention policies as a result of an increase in public awareness concerning the health effects of childhood bullying, including anxiety, depression, feelings of isolation, substance abuse, and suicide attempts, reports Ashley Welch for CBS News.
via Study Suggests That Anti-Bullying Legislation Pays Off.
By Dr. Jennifer Fraser
We would never let a teacher or coach physically strike or sexually molest our child. Why then do we allow teachers and coaches to bully our children? There are three major reasons why this occurs:
- Sexual and physical abuse can be documented on the body and are in the criminal code. The law takes them seriously, therefore so do parents. In contrast, emotional abuse is not in the criminal code, so it can still be confused with “motivation” — especially in the education system.
- Bullying can be hard to detect because, when done by teachers and coaches, its often mistaken for passion and a demand for excellence. Parents believe in authoritative teachers and coaches who say they know whats best for children.
via What Neuroscience Reveals About Bullying by Educators | Edutopia.
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Larry Bluford, founder of Operation Thugs Inc., is launching a new program, “Operation Restoration: The Bullying Prevention Project.”
The two-day event, March 6-7, was spurred by the Jan. 12 assault on Bluford’s daughter.
After people read his story, Bluford began hearing from families whose children were being bullied and Operation Restoration was born. Bluford has partnered with different organizations to bring the event to fruition.
It kicks off with a revival 7:30 p.m. March 6 at City Church, 743 E. Tabor Ave., Fairfield. It will focus on the spiritual and emotional toll of bullying.
via 2-day event will focus on bullying prevention Daily Republic.
By Amy Williams
Some recent studies show that an astonishing half of workplace bullying and 40 percent of school bullying will go unreported. Whether this is because of insensitivity toward the issue, a normalization of the practice in our culture, or simply an inability to identify it, something must be done to rectify the situation.
Bullying is becoming an epidemic in America, and social media has helped catapult it to an astronomical level where parents, educators, and those in a position to help simply don’t know what to do. According to a sobering report from the Center for Disease Control, one out of 12 teens have attempted suicide, and one in six high school students have seriously considered it.
via What Bullying Looks Like in the Digital Age and How to Prevent It | Edutopia.
By Christina Samuels
Bullying of students with disabilities such as diabetes, depression, or food allergies could result in a denial of those students’ right to a free, appropriate public education—and as such requires immediate steps on the part of the school to remedy the situation, according to guidance in a “Dear Colleague” letter released Oct. 21 from U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights.
The most recent guidance refers specifically to students covered by Section 504, a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. That act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by organizations that receive federal money, such as schools.
via Ed. Dept. Expands Guidance on Bullying and ‘504’ Students With Disabilities – On Special Education – Education Week.
By Lisa Currie
Phrases like “random acts of kindness” and “pay it forward” have become popular terms in modern society. Perhaps this could be best explained by those who have identified a deficiency in their lives that can only be fulfilled by altruism.
It seems that we just can’t get enough of those addictive, feel-good emotions — and with good reason. Scientific studies prove that kindness has many physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. And children need a healthy dose of the warm-and-fuzzies to thrive as healthy, happy, well-rounded individuals.
via Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reduce Bullying | Edutopia.