Bullying not tolerated in Northside Schools

July 20, 2012

Bullying isn’t new. And, through the years, bullying has been somewhat glamorized on television.

Who doesn’t remember how Nelly Olsen belittled Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, or how Lucy van Pelt bullied and harassed Charlie Brown. More recently, the show “Glee,” has bullies throwing slushies and insults during each episode. The story line with Kurt Hummel and football player/bully Dave Karofsky was very harmful and poignant.

We laugh when Lucy pulls the ball out from under Charlie Brown, but there is nothing funny or glamorous about bullying, and the damage it does can be life-long and life altering. And with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, email, texting, and blogging, the effect can be far reaching.

The old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” doesn’t hold true today.

 “Northside takes bullying and violence in our schools very seriously,” said Kimberly Ridgley, coordinator of Secondary Counseling Services and Safe School Initiatives. “Campus personnel are prepared to respond and resolve these situations in a fair and timely manner. Keeping all Northside students safe is a top priority.”

As part of the anti-bullying initiatives at NISD, each student and staff member is asked to sign a “Resolution for Respect” pledging to demonstrate respect for themselves and all others through their interactions at school.

“The strongest protective factor against bullying and cyber-bullying is prevention,” Ridgley said. “This is a District-wide effort that begins in elementary school and reaches into the community.”

NISD has implemented many programs to address the needs of students, including classroom guidance lessons delivered by the school counselor, anti-bullying classroom presentations, campus-wide initiatives such as the “No Bully Zone, Project ABC (anti-bullying communities) at the secondary level, and community involvement activities. At the District level, the phone and texting Safeline program (397-SAFE and safe@nisd.net) offers a safe way for students (and the community) to report potential incidents. Also the Parent 411 online training module for preventing bullying, cyber-bullying and dating violence is available for parents and educators.

In addition, Beard Elementary School was designated a 2011-12 No Place to Hate® school by the Anti-Defamation League. This national award is given to schools who seek to provide a model for combating intolerance, bullying and hatred, leading to long-term solutions to these problems in schools.

To educate yourself and help in the prevention of bullying on our campuses, go to the NISD’s Parent 411 website at http://parent411.nisd.net/.