Monday, September 05, 2016

Snuff out the bullying

Mr. Vos: we still miss you very much in Jaguar Country!

On the eve of the opening day of school at B-B-E for the 2016-17 year, I'd be thrilled if every parent had a conversation with their children about bullying - whether it's in the classroom, the hallways, the bus rides, the locker rooms, the phy. ed. class or any off-school setting for that matter.

While I wouldn't stand behind this statement: "Bullying is a serious problem at B-B-E" I would stand behind this comment = "Bullying is a problem at B-B-E."

I've already had personal conversations in recent days with two families whose children have experienced bullying during last school year at B-B-E. I have heard of two other situations of bullying with two other families, but that was all second-hand.

Bullying is UNACCEPTABLE behavior! 

We all need to be vigilant at rooting out this type of behavior and work daily towards making B-B-E a bullying-free school. If you are a parent of a student who is not a victim of bullying, it is WAY TOO EASY to become complacent and ignore the issue. Remind your children that they need to either step in and become involved in ending the bullying, or they need to quickly report it to a staff member at the school. (Janitor, para, teacher, principal, cook, etc.!) In today's age, where all 5th-12th graders have a school-issued computer in their hands, it's very simple to compose an e-mail and shoot it off to a staff member and report improper behavior!!!!!

Look at it another way: do you want your son or daughter to be in the center of a bullying incident, one that likely would involve the cops? One of the above-mentioned bullying stories involved cyber-bullying and social media AND the police. It took place this summer. Do you want that in your family's life?

I would say our schools are in a tough spot in the Internet age. The cyber-bullying appears like a runaway train in this country. These things often happen outside school time, yet often schools have to deal with it front and center. I have personally seen how staff at Sauk Centre and also B-B-E preach and preach until they're blue in the face pleading with kids to keep their online behavior in check. It's a constant battle.

  • The photo above is a throw-back to the fall of 2012, when the late Mr. Vos (math teacher and wrestling coach) was killed in an accident. Vos was very proactive about helping students with their problems, and in many cases helped kids through difficult situations they had with other students. Let's continue honoring the memory of that great man who once blessed our hallways at B-B-E with his presence by taking steps to eliminate bullying at our school.

And parents of teenage drivers at B-B-E...while you're at it, could you talk to your son/daughter about distracted driving and/or texting while driving?

What I have below was printed on page one of the September 1 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper:

A few friendly reminders as school is set to restart in the Bonanza Valley area:

1.  Talk to your children about bullying and what to do if it happens to them or to others around them. BE PROACTIVE! Bullying should never be tolerated or condoned!

2. Talk to your children about the importance of being friendly, warm & welcoming to new students at B-B-E. Whether they’ve moved here or are open-enrolled in, their presence is vital to the health of B-B-E schools!

3. At home during the week, stress to your children the importance of “taking a break” from screen time! They get plenty of it during school.

4. Encourage your children to respect all staff members at school all day, every day! It’s just  common sense!

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