Lincoln-Way High Schools Take Bullying by the Horns
Bullying is bound to get you in hot water at Lincoln-Way High School District 210. A new online bullying reporting system is in place.
No longer does a kid have to battle bullying in fearful silence. At Lincoln-Way High School District 210, board members learned the details at their meeting Thursday at Lincoln-Way East High School of an online bully reporting system.
Principal Steve Provis, of Lincoln-Way Central High School, presented the board with a PowerPoint that explained the ins and outs of the bullying reporting. On the Lincoln-Way High School District website, and on each of the four Lincoln-Way high schools’ web pages, is a new category called simply “Bully Reporting.”
This new pull down gives students, parents, and community members a description of bullying and a reporting form to fill out and submit.
On the district's website, the bullying reporting system is posted under Quick Links. A form drops down with questions that the reporting party can fill in. The key aspects include a space for description. It can be as long or short as one might need. There is an optional line that invites the person reporting the incident to leave a name. "We're hoping they do. That helps us" to intercede more quickly, he said, by having an opportunity to ask follow-up questions of the bullying victim or the bystander.
In either case, he said the district and the school staff is committed to acting on this information promptly. "What might seem minor to an adult is not to a 14 year old," he said. It's something the district is committed to attacking.
According to a press release, “The issue of preventing bullying is a board of education/district goal this year, and all four Lincoln-Way high schools are reinforcing to our students, staff, and faculty how to be proactive against verbal, relational, physical bullying, and cyber bullying.”
"Cyber bullying, that's probably the beast that we're going to be dealing with. …Kids feel safe doing it online…through social media," he said at the meeting.
The online form is a tool for anyone, but for students it's a less intimidating way to broach a difficult subject. “Some kids don’t feel comfortable talking to an adult about this situation. The bullying form gives the victim or the bystander a way to communicate the incident. The form goes straight to the discipline office and our people will immediately investigate the situation,” noted Provis.
Already the anti-bullying program has been implemented at LWC. Students there have "enthusiastically endorsed the school’s new anti-bullying program with their overwhelming support by signing pledges to help with the fight against bullying," said Stacy Holland, director of community relations.
A pledge program was put together to halt bullying in its tracks. It's a combination of awareness and education about the ramifications of bullying and more. The kids are learning that it's unacceptable behavior, and it doesn't have to be endured.
Holland noted, "Students are asked to sign a pledge that they will help stop bullying. The pledge contract states, 'Bullying Stops Here.' By signing the pledge card students agree to: support students who have been subjected to bullying; teach by example and treat other students with respect."
The program is intended to shed light on the negative impact of bullying and to understand the responsibility of reporting suspicious behavior, said Holland.
Provis is slated to begin a series of presentations to the entire faculty, staff and bus drivers about the new bully reporting system. "The students will receive information about the bully reporting system in their advisory periods," said Holland.
At LWC, students who signed the pledge card on the first day of the program received a red T-shirt. On the front, it reads: “Bullying Stops Here,” while the back of the shirt has a Knight head with the words “Stand Together.”
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