Addressing school bullying

LAKE MILLS, Iowa – For parent, Jeremy Rogstad, being a part of an effort to establish this meeting, is a giant step, he feels, in the right direction.

“I have a daughter in school and, she was bullied.  We just want to make sure that a lot of people, who go through this, know the policies and procedures that have to be done, and what’s expected of the school,” said Jeremy.

Jeremy says this started after his daughter kept coming home, night after night, upset over some students and the way they were treating her.

“It was constant harassment by a child. It was non-stop for quite a long time, and it greatly affected my daughter. I think that we just didn’t know where to turn.”

Jeremy decided upon a plan.  He and other parents went to the school wanting to know the exact procedures to follow to respond to bullying.  They asked the school to respond to more than 50 questions they would like answered at the meeting.

“I feel like it’s important to address issues when parents bring concerns to us, and sometimes we feel we’re communicating information as best we can, other times parents feel its not being communicated,” said Superintendent, Daryl Sherman.

Sherman says, he feels, the strongest policy they have in effect at the school when it comes to battling bullying is the PBIS program, or the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support program.  It’s an initiative from the U.S. Department of Education designed to respond to and prevent bullying.  That’s the main thing school leaders are explaining to the parents gathered at the meeting.

“Information and communication is power, and being able to provide information makes parents feel better about things,” said Sherman.

One thing both the parents and the school staff can agree on, is that bullying, won’t be going away, any time soon.

“It’s our kids, its never going to go away, it’s always been there, it’s just different now,” said Jeremy.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has many resources online for parents, students, and educators faced with bullying.  For more information, go to http://www.stopbullying.gov/.

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