When you walk into an elementary school you might expect to see students learning about math, reading, and writing, but kids at East Elementary School are learning about bullying.
School Principal Joseph Ackman said the training helps students and teachers know what bullying is.
“We have to clarify that bullying is something that a lot of times is the power being on one side and something that is an ongoing thing that is persistent over time,” said Ackman.
According to the most recent statistics, over 160,000 children in the United States miss school every day out of the fear and anxiety of being bullied. Anyone can be a bully, and teachers say the school district training helps both teachers and students to recognize bad behavior.
Elementary school teacher Blair Albrecht told SUN News that teaching students about bullying helps them realize the importance of being friendly.
“I think the training we’ve received is more about teaching the students how to deal with bullying. So its not so much more than the teachers are more involved, its more teaching the students about bullying and how to resist it or how to prevent it,” he said.
East Elementary has made efforts to encourage students to be respectful to each other in and out of the classroom through various incentives like the Principal’s Pals program.
School Counselor Karen Bishop said incentives help children know that their good behavior does not go unrecognized.
“When Mr. Ackman calls the parents to recognize their student…. that their student got his or her name on the Principal’s Pals Board, then that is further communication as to what the expectations are.”
Ackman said there are resources at the school for students who struggle with bullying others.
“Once a person is identified as having a problem with bullying, then there are some steps that we take in working with the school counselor… and trying to help them have some better skills and dealing with whatever may be the root cause of their desire to be a little bit more physical with another child.”