Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Together We Can Make a Difference

Last week I sent a letter to parents District-wide about school safety and threats.  I believe it is important to continue the conversation as we must work together to create a safe learning climate and culture that is free of threats and also bullying and harassment.

Making threats is completely unacceptable and contributes to creating a climate of fear and intimidation that is not healthy whether the actions are real, perceived or intended to be sarcastic or humorous.  “Humorous” threats are not funny and are not okay. Bullying and harassment are also wrong and also contribute to this same type of dysfunction. These types of behaviors are entirely inappropriate and dangerous in nature whether they are made using verbal, physical, written means or using social media.  

I recently highlighted a blog written by Maci Slater and Cambre Millikan, two of our middle school students, about efforts to stop bullying and harassment at Shenandoah Middle School. Their efforts should be commended as they understand the destructive nature of these behaviors.

Sometimes, people ask about the difference between good-natured teasing, not being nice, and bullying and harassment. The District does have policies that define bullying and harassment that you can locate herein our handbook, and on our website.

I would ask for your help as a community to continue to help guide, direct and support students in fully understanding threats or violence of any kind, bullying, and harassment are unacceptable and may have severe consequences. It isn't necessarily an easy conversation to have as children and youth are exposed to a great amount of these types of behaviors through all kinds of media, video games, movies, and TV.  However, together we can make a difference by modeling desired behaviors and responses to difficult situations that arise, spending time talking with and mentoring youth, intervening by reporting valid concerns to authorities, being an advocate or support for someone who needs assistance and continuing to have the conversation. 


Goals?

It may seem rather cliché to write about goals or resolutions this time of year.  However, for me, it is difficult to start a new year with...