Anti-Bullying Programs

KMS Anti-Bullying Program

At Kennedy Middle School, we teach the students about being positive role-models and what we expect from our students not only in school but what we want the students to be like in ‘society as a whole.’  There are five basic challenges that we work with our students on throughout the year.
1.Dream Big and Believe in Yourself
2. Be Kind to Others
3. Practice Positive Gossip
4. Show Appreciation to Those You Love
5. Be the Answer

The Anti-bullying Club, is our largest school club and has four teacher sponsors and over 100 students who plan out the year of activities, presentations and weekly affirmations.  Each week, our staff and students wear  'unity' shirts on Wednesday’s and we do special presentations or video announcements for the students.  We always keep the expected behaviors of students at the forefront  of the school culture.  

Two of the first things we discuss with our students are:
Characteristics of bullying will include any aggressive behavior intended to cause physical or psychological harm to another individual or group. It is not an isolated act but is carried out repeatedly over time. It occurs when a person or group perceives it has an imbalance of power over the person or group that is the object of the behaviors.

 Bullying behavior is –
            Exhibits an imbalance of power

Bullying is not a single episode of meanness, aggression or intimidation. That is not to say that single, random acts of aggression should not be immediately addressed by persons in authority. But random acts should be dealt with for what they are. Some random acts may even fall into the realm of assault, but they are not necessarily representative of bullying.

Bullying is not an argument or conflict where both parties are trying to reach a resolution. However, unresolved conflict can lead to bulling behavior if not addressed and one party tries to amass some type of power over the other. This can look like one party recruiting others to join “their side” in an ongoing conflict. Or, one party can attempt some type of retaliation toward another.

Neither is bullying simply social rejection, unless it is repeated, deliberate and is intended to cause distress or dislike by others.

So what happens if a student does feel they are bullied or sees bullying take place:
·         They are to report it to an adult staff member in the building or they can anonymously put a note in our ‘Bully Box’ that sits outside the back office.
·         Counselor and/or social worker will meet with student to get details of incidents
·         Counselor and/or social worker will meet with all involved parties to work out the situation; if they think it might involve school level consequences, then administration is brought in to be a part of the conversation. 
·         In the most serious of situations, our police liaison can also be involved.
·         Of course parents are a part of the communication loop, and they are informed of the discussions and/or consequences (if any) to their child.