National Anti-Bullying Month is something that has been established in the last couple of years. We're definitely a big part of it. Out here in San Mateo County we even have the Respect 24/7 Campaign during the month of October as well. Respect 24/7 really comes off the heels of a lot of the work we've done at Ingrid B. Lacy Middle School where we've implemented the "Respect For All Campaign." We have plenty of programs and activities throughout the year. It all starts with our biggest event which is our Respect For All Assembly which is done for the 6th , 7th and 8th graders separately in the auditorium.
Not just during October, but all year long we at ASK Academy and the Stop Bullying System are constantly helping organizations and schools find ways to sustain positive behavior. Let's elaborate a bit on some of the feedback we get from Parents, Teachers, and Students. We have our BLOG post 20 reasons why people love the Stop Bullying System I'm going to talk about the first three.
1. All the internet computer stuff; all the parts of texting and the internet are useful.
2. I like the 20 Effective Ways for Behavior Change.
3. It’s great that people get to talk to each other.
Those are the first three. I'm going to talk about each one individually:
Number one: "All the internet computer stuff; all the parts of texting and the internet are useful."
So what are they talking about when they say Internet and computer stuff? Well we all know that bullying has been going on for a long time. Bullying is nothing new, however in modern times with the use of digital technology computers, smartphones, cellphones, and video cameras, bullying takes on a different look now. It goes fast, it spreads fast, and it goes far. So we always want to be aware of better ways to use technology. I'm a person who really loves technology, I shouldn't say love, I really like technology I just don't like some of the things that people do with it. That's why in the stop bullying system we actually focus on cyber safety. That's a big part of our program and the way that we address it, we just say internet, computers and smartphones. Some of the things that we address and help adults and youth deal with are: How to respond if you're being bullied online. How to intervene if you witness cyber bullying. How to avoid predators and how to avoid scams. We also talk about how adults can help young people set limits for computer use and learn how to use computers and other devices responsibly.
This is a great quest we have, to let people know that we're not against technology. I actually like having technology in the classroom. It's advantageous if the students are able utilize their smartphones whether it be to research something or use it as a calculator. As long as it's done in a structured manner, everyone is on the same page, and people aren't trying to use their phones to call people, text message and those types of things.
Moving on to number two: "I like the 20 effective ways for Behavior Change"
This is a result of all the work that we've done with adults and youth and looking at the fact that young people have a lot of ideas, they have their own thoughts and their own minds however they still need us for guidance. That's why at ASK Academy we focus on mentoring as one of our most effective ways of working with youth. After all of our talks with parents, structure is one issue that comes up. They want to see their children's behavior change however there's no real systemic way and no accountability and no way to measure the actual change. So what we've done is come up with a way for young people and their parents or mentors to get on the same page about behavior change.
We encourage the parents to think about all the behaviors that they want to see their young people change then actually list those things. We have them not just list the things that they don't want them to do but go ahead and list the alternatives to those behaviors; some type of change that they want to see. Then to go over the list with the young people and have them give feedback and input into the list, add things of their own or negotiate if there's something they want to see taken off or adjusted in some type of way. After this process is done then the young people need to sign this list and these interventions that will be put in place. We have our own 20 ways but we like to encourage people to develop their own unique lists.
The third reason why people love our system is: "It's great that people get to talk to each other."
So many times adults, parents, and guardians are dealing with issues. Their youth are dealing with issues and they think they're the only ones. That's why It's good to have seminars where parents and educators can come together and hear that they're not the only ones dealing with defiance, they're not the only ones dealing with maybe a disconnect, or mis-communication, or no communication with their youth. They can hear perspectives from other parents about strictness or flexibility. They can hear from other adults who may share their style and actually place limits, talk with young people, get them to think about some of the decisions and choices that they are making, and hopefully make better choices. This is hard to do if you're constantly dealing with your child or dealing with a students in a vacuum and you're not able to bounce ideas off of other caring adults.
Preventing Bullying will take the efforts of all youth and caring adults. Remember that we are getting people to identify Bullying, Before you identify you should be preventing it in the first place and if it's happening you should intervene.
Categories: National Anti-Bullying Month, Respect 24/7, Internet Safety, Positive Behavior, Parents