Broken Arrow contest aims to prevent bullying
One Lawrence elementary school recently held a contest aimed at stopping bullying before it starts.
Students at Broken Arrow School recently wrapped up a poster contest with anti-bullying messages to post around the building. Read about the six students whose work will be featured.
Topeka The recent suicides of gay teens have raised questions as to whether schools are doing enough to try to stop bullying.
On Wednesday, the State Board of Education will consider whether there should be a statewide anti-bullying policy.
And on Friday, the state learned that Kansas was one of 11 states sharing in a $38.8 million federal grant to reduce violence and drugs in schools.
Kansas will receive $9.4 million over four years to create safer schools with an emphasis on stopping substance abuse, bullying and other violent acts, the Kansas Department of Education reported.
Now, local school boards are required under state law to adopt anti-bullying policies.
But education board member Walt Chappell, Wichita, said Kansas should consider a statewide policy.
“We have standards for math, we have standards for reading. Let’s have appropriate behavior and set some benchmarks,” Chappell said.
State education officials receive reports from school districts on incidences of substance abuse and violence but not specifically on bullying.
The reports show that in the 2008-2009 school year, there were 8,720 incidents statewide that resulted in a student being suspended or expelled from school. In the Lawrence district, there were 222 incidents. The numbers went down in the 2009-2010 school year to 8,017 incidents statewide and 128 in Lawrence, according to the reports.
Chappell says he hears a lot from teachers and parents about in violence in schools. Aside from victimizing individuals, bad behavior on the part of a few students can disrupt the education process for all students, he said.
“I’m trying to deal with the whole picture. I’m trying to get parents into the schools and having them more responsible for their child’s behavior,” he said.