Representatives from more than 40 Cobb schools recently took part in bullying prevention training sessions conducted by the District’s Prevention Intervention Center. Prevention specialists shared best practices and research-based strategies with teachers, counselors and support staff, helping them better recognize and address bullying behaviors in schools. The Prevention Intervention Center provided a wealth of support materials for schools and parents to explore, including presentations to share with families and a set of brochures co-written by specialist Jeff Dess, entitled Understanding Playful vs. Hurtful Teasing and Bullying Behavior. Click here to review the brochures online.
Schools are implementing these best practices in ways that best suit their student bodies, including the delivery models for anti-bullying programs and the style of communication. Belmont Hills Elementary is one of several schools to use the Second Step program, which helps develop and reinforce core social-emotional skills in elementary and middle school students.
At Cooper Middle School, students in Amy Zschaber’s art classes created their own digital anti-bullying campaign. Students snapped photos of themselves in various environments and then created their own graphic posters with slogans calling for students to stand up and speak out. A small group of Cooper students also created their own short film, defining the roles kids can play in seeking social justice. A gallery of images created by Cooper students is below.
The P/I Center has also helped administrative teams establish schoolwide reporting mechanisms, so students know whom to report incidents of bullying behavior. Some schools, such as Lost Mountain Middle, have opted to take further steps to implement the intensive Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, a nationally-recognized model for prevention and promotion of understanding amongst young people.
For more information about bullying prevention programs in Cobb schools, visit the Prevention Intervention Center website.