Bullying is a serious concern in the nation’s schools. It is not uncommon to hear that bullying is a part of growing up, but with national experts reporting that bullies identified at age eight are six times more likely to be convicted of a crime by age 24 and five times more likely to end up with serious criminal records by the age of 30, it is clear that the idea that this is a normal part of childhood is only a myth.
St. Charles Parish Schools are addressing the issue through comprehensive system-wide programs such as peer mediation for elementary children and violence prevention for middle and high school students. One school that has been successful in taking strides to eliminate this problem is Luling Elementary School. Administrators there are helping teachers and students define exactly what bullying is and have used a whole-school approach by integrating sessions with the counselor to address the issue as part of a regular school day.
This daily whole-class gathering method is a way to build trust and respect among students, increase their investment in learning, improve social and academic skills, and give them daily practice in effective communication. And if it prevents bullying from leading to full-grown criminals, it will be well worth the effort.