In the wake of school violence throughout the world, it is important to analyze the causes of violence and implement preventive measures to assure that every student and adult will feel secure in the school environment. DoDEA implemented a system-wide Bully Prevention program as a part of the Safe Schools and Character Education program.
Bullying is defined as a means to have power over another and it takes many forms: physical, verbal, and indirect such as gossip and isolation. Bullying leaves long-lasting scars for its victims. Bullies have a higher incidence of antisocial behavior, domestic violence and crime as adults. Society pays a heavy toll for tolerating bullying behavior and bullies.
In DoDEA schools and community, bullying will not go unchallenged and will not be tolerated. All students, staff members, parents and the community play vital roles to ensure our children are not bullied, do not act as bullies, and will not allow others to bully. Our schools have a moral obligation to provide our students and the school community with the proper information, prevention strategies, and defenses to create a safe, accepting and caring environment for all.
Bullying is a widespread and serious problem across our nation. It's what happens when someone repeatedly hurts or threatens another person on purpose. Bullying comes in many forms-name-calling, leaving people out, spreading rumors or physically hurting someone. And it can happen in person, in writing, online, on cell phones, in school, on the bus, at home, or anywhere. It is not a normal rite of passage, it has serious consequences and it's NOT acceptable.
DoDEA is firmly committed to providing all students with a safe and supportive learning environment. Every child is entitled to feel safe in the classroom, in the hallway and on playgrounds and buses. Bullying, verbal harassment, and cyber-bullying interfere with a student's ability to learn. All of us, teachers, administrators, students and parents, must work together to eliminate unacceptable bullying and harassing behavior. Together we can make our schools safe places to learn, grow and thrive.
Bully prevention will continue to be a top priority for DoDEA as we begin the school year. As a part of our commitment, DoDEA has joined forces with the Department of Health and Human Services and others to bring a reinvigorated and broader focus on bully prevention to our schools and communities. DoDEA will adopt the national slogan "Stop Bullying Now! Take a Stand. Lend a Hand," to help unify our efforts and build a common understanding of, and expectations for, DoDEA's commitment and action to prevent bullying.
This year, the Department of Defense and the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention, are encouraging the youth in our military communities to submit original Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that showcase ways youth are taking action against bullying and promoting a culture of tolerance, kindness, and respect in their communities. PSAs should be informative and entertaining videos that send a positive message to youth about the importance of being "more than a bystander" to bullying in their schools and communities.
We owe and must provide every student the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe and nurturing environment. Learn more about doing your part to stop bullying now.