Posted Date: 10/12/2021
Norwalk Public Schools is pleased to join others across the country in recognizing October as Bullying Awareness and Prevention month. In October and throughout the school year, NPS students, staff and parents work together to raise awareness and to promote a positive culture that eliminates bullying.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive, repeated behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying can also take place through technology.
NPS staff utilizes positive behavioral strategies and social emotional learning curriculum in the classroom, small groups or with individuals to encourage a school environment that is positive, safe, welcoming, and inclusive. Programs such as Rethink SEL support healthy and confident K-12 students by promoting well-being, connectedness, and success across the entire school community. Second Step programs with research-based lessons promote the social-emotional development, safety, and well-being of K-8 students. Students also participated in Start With Hello Week in September, a Sandy Hook Promise program that teaches students to be more socially inclusive and connected to each other.
Another strategy currently being utilized at Silvermine Dual Language Magnet School is the “No Bully” system. The “No Bully” system is an evidence-based prevention and intervention program whose mission is to eradicate bullying and cyberbullying worldwide. The goal of “No Bully” is to reduce incidents of bullying, improve school culture, reduce school violence, and support educational outcomes. Staff and parents received “No Bully” training last year, with another parent training scheduled in the coming months. A group of Silvermine staff members also trained to be Solution Coaches. Solution Coaches facilitate teams of students and empower them to bring bullying to an end. Coaches then follow up with any students stuck in the role of bully or target.
At NPS, we encourage students to speak up when they see an issue or injustice happening, but know that this is not always easy. To encourage the concept of “if you see something, say something,” students and parents have access to an anti-bullying app called Anonymous Alerts. Anonymous Alerts provides them with the ability to report bullying and safety issues quickly. Through the app, issues are anonymously reported to school administrators and counselors. This includes reports of suspicious activity, safety threats, bullying, drug abuse, depression, harassment, family issues and self-harm issues.
By declaring October Bullying Awareness and Prevention Month, the Board of Education encourages all Norwalk students, parents and members of the community to spread messages of kindness, acceptance and inclusion.