Quelling Bullying

BULLYING IS an issue of epidemic proportions in schools today. The problem is not an isolated one, as it is national in scope.

Here in the Ohio Valley, our educators are doing their best in attempting to reduce bullying episodes, as students should not be placed in harm’s way.

Two local school districts reported this week that anti-bullying efforts are having positive results. That was the message emanating from Martins Ferry School Superintendent Dirk Fitch as well as Harrison Hills officials.

It is one that we believe is playing out throughout our Eastern Ohio schools.

The Olweus Anti-Bullying Program serves as a guide for administrators and teachers on how to deal with student unruliness. Fitch says the program “teaches our students what bullying is and how to react to it in a positive manner.” He added that all of the building administrators take an active role in monitoring student behavior and safety.

Part of the Olweus program is instructing and educating the public, the parents, the students and the staff on exactly what bullying really is. That makes sense, as you cannot handle a problem if you do not totally identify it.

Moreover, the process calls for tracking of bullying activity and monthly analysis. Maintaining a running list of incidents and those involved can only prove beneficial in reducing repeat offenses.

Once students became more acclimated with the reporting process, bullying tends to decrease.

Bullying, unfortunately, is a problem that will never be totally absent from our schools. But we are impressed by the progress our local schools are making to reduce it.