Cardiff Schools take student safety, specifically bullying, very seriously. We do not have more problems with bullying than most any school, but as long as one child within our population is being bullied, we will work to stop it (Board Policy 5131.2). Below you will find links to resources for students, parents and teachers.
We help children to be included and to feel safe and empowered. We teach children to include and care for others in work and play, and we teach the Cardiff Way by example: Staff and parents model kindness, respect, empathy and cooperation with students and each other.
Here are some specific actions, programs and events that work to reduce bullying behaviors on our campus;
Zones of Regulation: This curriculum for 3rd and 4th grade students provides them with tools and strategies to be more self-aware of and manage their emotions and impulses, and manage sensory needs and improve their ability to problem-solve conflicts.
Teaching Students to Be Peacemakers Curriculum (new for 2014-2015): Ada Harris Staff will begin implementing the Teaching Students to Be Peacemakers Program school-wide to enhance the safety of our school environment and provide students with opportunities to learn and practice attitudes and competencies needed to resolve conflicts.
Rules Assembly: At the beginning of the year we conduct grade span assemblies to clearly communicate the rules of our campus that keep our students safe. This assembly also covers a common definition of bullying and what to do if and when bullying occurs.
Cardiff Way Assemblies: We hold monthly assemblies to celebrate the Cardiff Way behaviors demonstrated by our students to positively reinforce the actions and attitudes we expect from our students.
Kindness Campaign: We are a Kindness Certified school! Each year we participate in the annual, National Kindness Campaign with fun, simple activities and actions that promote both random and targeted acts of kindness across the campus.
Conflict versus Bullying Reporting Box: This system helps students report difficult behaviors to school staff. The system will help students determine if the situation is indeed a bullying situation or a conflict with a peer. A staff member then follows up with the student or students. This is also a way for students to report concerns anonymously.
Ada Harris Student News Team: The AHSN team takes on the responsibility for reporting out to the student body in a weekly broadcast. The broadcasts often contain embedded Cardiff Way messages and lessons for the student body that promote kindness and discourage behaviors that might harm others.
Student Council Meetings focused on School Climate: With representatives from every classroom we take time from our monthly meetings to examine the current school climate and brainstorm ways for students and staff to improve our safe and positive learning environment.
In addition to the events or programs mentioned above, all staff members are instructed to immediately intervene with any potentially harmful behaviors to stop any acts of student aggression, harassment and bullying. Consequences will be given for any school rules broken according to our discipline plan. Furthermore, we teach and support students as they work to improve their behavior for the future. We take a problem-solving approach to conflicts and bullying situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bullying occurs when a student, or group of students, attempts to take power over another student. Often bullying is repeated, where students fall into the roles of bully (the student who is bullying), bully-follower (a student who goes along with the bully), target (the student who is being bullied) and bystander (a student who sees bullying but does nothing to stop it). The main ways in which bullying happens are:
Physical bullying: when a student uses physical force to hurt another student by hitting, punching, pushing, pantsing, shoving, kicking, spitting, pinching, getting in their way, or holding them down. It is also bullying to interfere with another student’s belongings, to take or break their possessions, and to demand or steal money.
Verbal bullying: when a student directs words at another student with the intention of putting them down or humiliating them. This includes threatening, taunting, intimidating, shouting, insulting, sarcasm, name-calling, teasing, put-downs and ridiculing. It is also verbal bullying when a student uses hostile gestures towards another student, such as making faces, staring, giving the evil eye, and eye rolling.
Relational bullying: when a student influences another student’s friendships and relationships through deliberately leaving them out, spreading gossip and rumors about them, whispering, giving them the silent treatment, ostracizing or scape-goating. This also includes writing words or creating cartoons, posters or drawings about another student designed to hurt or humiliate that student.
Cyber bullying: using mobile phones, text messages, e-mails, instant messaging, chat rooms, web blogs and social networking sites to bully another student in any of the ways described above. Examples of cyber bullying are sending threatening or insulting messages by phone and e-mail, posting untrue information or embarrassing pictures about another student on message boards, blogs or social networking sites, using another student’s email address or IM name to send messages that make the student look bad, creating a web page devoted to putting down another student, forwarding a text-message or e-mail that was meant for your eyes only.
Bullying is part of a continuum of aggression and may, at times, amount to harassment. Harassment occurs when a student is the recipient of threatening, disturbing or unwelcome behaviors because of a particular characteristic. See our Student Conduct policy for more details on how harassment is addressed.
Talk to your child’s teacher first. Classroom teachers often have great insight into the dynamics of children’s relationships. Take the first step by sharing your concerns. Your child’s teacher will talk to you about the best way to address the situation. If you have additional concerns, you can also speak with the school principal.
The first step is the same. Talk to your child’s teacher. Classroom teachers and support staff at Cardiff are available to assist all children and their families, regardless of the role they might play in a situation involving bullying.
Model compassionate behavior. In order for children to learn kindness and empathy, they need to see it modeled by adults. Make sure your kids get to see you behaving in a compassionate, empathetic manner. A positive social climate is key to a school’s success in combating bullying.
Limit children’s exposure to media. Talk to your children about the TV programs they watch and make sure they are age-appropriate. Monitor their online activities and teach kids how to be safe online.
There are many books available to help parents raise empathetic children or cope with bullying. Some of these books will be available for loan in our library (coming soon). Please check out our reading list (coming soon) for suggestions for both parents and students. You can also visit the following websites for more information.
http://www.stopbullying.gov A U.S. government managed website with a wealth of information.
http://www.commonsensemedia.org a useful site which gives summaries, age recommendations and reviews for books, movies, video games and more.
http://www.staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/for-parents/raising-digital-citizens Good tips on how to keep your children safe online.