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Springfield School District Cracking Down on Bullying
It's back to school time and for most kids in our area, that means bullying could rear it's ugly head again. The Springfield School District is fighting back. New resources are in place for students who feel they're being tormented at school.
The Springfield School District has implemented a bullying curriculum for all grade levels. That's good news for parents who say they're concerned about their kids being bullied at school.
Springfield mom, Valerie Brooks, picks up her kids from school every afternoon....after spending the day worrying about how they were treated by other students. She said, " I try to protect them the best that I can, but it's like, when I drop them off at school, they're in the school's hands."
The Springfield School District implemented a bullying policy last year, but as are all new programs, it's a work in progress. Teacher Instructional Leader Kelly Scholtis said, "Bullying is under-reported. it ends up being reported as fighting, disrepect, all those other types of things." That's why this year, officials say they're doing even more to reduce violence by using a program called "stop, walk and talk." "It just really teaches them words to use, what to do, tell the bully to stop, walk away, and talk to an adult. So our schools are teaching that curicluum and just really using a common language with how we address bullying," said Scholtis.
Scholtis says the way kids are bullying is changing. Kids are now using social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and the increasingly popular website, Ask.fm to tease their peers. Ask.fm allows kids to anonymously ask each other questions and those questions often turn into verbal assault. "The fact that it's anonymous makes it much easier and they're not accountable," said Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Brenda Booker. Experts say it's crucial for parents to monitor what their kids are doing online. "Get involved. know what your kids are doing. remember that you are providing the phone so look at what they're doing periodically, Booker said."
Experts say some are scared to reach out for fear of retaliation.