BEDMINSTER, NJ — October is National Bullying Prevention Month and the Somerset Hills Regional School District has implemented dozens of initiatives and programs designed to combat and prevent bullying.
“Our students’ social and emotional well-being is very important to us,” said Coleen Gallagher Butler, assistant superintendent. “It is our hope that being kind and being inclusive to all is part of what they learn and practice each and every day.”
The district has implemented several programs and initiatives that allow students to take a proactive approach to preventing bullying before it starts.
Bernards High School
Students are encouraged to wear orange on Unity Day, Oct. 23, to show that the high school is a place for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
The freshman orientation program features a Difficult People/Difficult Situations student meet-up group that meets bi-monthly. Another form of peer leadership involves an anger management mini-lesson.
During the annual Week of Respect this year students have written messages of kindness and encouragement to one another on the kindness tree.
Forming positive relationships and combating bullying are reinforced in the school’s curriculum, including life skills classes that include lessons and discussions on building healthy relationships. Student assistance counselors teach students lessons on mental health warning signs and how to help friends who are struggling with their mental health.
Students participate in lessons and discussions, analyze poetry, and write research papers on tolerance. History classes include lessons and discussions on Holocaust by-standards, respect, tolerance, and being a positive citizen.
World Religions classes focus on developing lessons and engage in discussions on stereotypes.
Bernardsville Middle School
During all lunch periods Oct. 22, fifth through eighth graders will participate in activities during National Mix-It Up Day, an international campaign that encourages students to cross social boundaries.
The school received a state grant that will help train counselors and health teachers in suicide prevention.
The school has partnered with the School Culture and Climate Initiative. The school is engaging the community, teachers, parents, and students, in building sustainable strategies to promote the development of students’ social and emotional skills.
Fifth grade students are creating and performing upstander skills for their peers in their Wellness classes. Students must also set kindness goals as part of their kindness lessons.
The school will also participate in the New Jersey Child Assault Prevention Program, which will try to reduce children’s vulnerability to abuse, neglect, and bullying through workshops for kids, parents, and staff.
Bedwell Elementary School
There will be a Week of Respect activities and a poster contest and classroom lessons related to anti-bullying, student rights, and responsibilities led by a school counselor.
The school adheres to the tenets of Rachel’s Challenge to try to discourage bullying. Each day, students recite the phrases, “Use kind words. Do nice things. Include others. And start your own chain reaction,” each morning.
Bedwell will also participate in the NJCAP program.
New Jersey has some of the toughest anti-bullying school regulations in the United States, including the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights. Schools are required to report all instances of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, and provide detailed information about their bullying statistics.
As National Bullying Prevention Month get underway, we want to hear from you. Do you have a story to tell about bullying or cyberbullying, a suggestion on how to quell it, or an event to publicize? Comment at the end of the story or email firstname.lastname@example.org and copy email@example.com. You can also post about Bullying Prevention Month on our Neighbor Posts and community calendar sections on Bernardsville-Bedminster Patch.
Published at Wed, 09 Oct 2019 17:19:00 +0000