By: Rachel Choi
In light of recent bullying tragedies across the nation, FUSD has implemented a new anti-bullying campaign for all schools in the district. This includes new measures for reporting bullying, changes to Board of Education policy, and a poster and lyrics contest to promote anti-bullying.
During the first week of school, a packet addressing students about bullying was passed out in advisory period. The packet covers how to report bullying incidents, the prohibition of retaliation against reporting an incident, confidentiality, and examples of bullying. Throughout the packet, the new policy emphasizes zero tolerance. “The district will not tolerate bullying or any behavior that infringes on the safety or well-being of students, staff, or any other persons within the district’s jurisdiction,” states the packet. Another new update to the policy is the addition of Cyber Bullying to the list of types of bullying. Cyber Bullying may include texts, messages, sounds, images, and posts on social network websites like facebook.com. Senior James Chen agrees with the new policy. “I think it would be a great idea since a lot of what’s going on with cyber bullying is a lack of awareness of how serious the situation actually is,” he said.
At MSJ, all teachers have also received anti-bullying training, where they further discussed the roles of students, teachers, and administrators.
The district-wide poster and lyrics contest is also a part of FUSD’s anti-bullying initiative. The contest seeks to raise awareness among students. Once the winners are chosen, the posters will be duplicated and displayed in every school classroom, office, and hallway. The winning posters and song will also be released on the FUSD website in October.
The primary goal of all these changes is to help create an environment where students understand that bullying is unacceptable. This is particularly important because 37.4% of students nationwide report having been harassed. Reasons range from race and national origin to religion to gender and sexual orientation.
FUSD’s effort is part of a nationwide focus on anti-bullying spurred by tragedies like the bullying-related suicide of a 12 year-old boy inNew Yorklast May. President Barack Obama has addressed the issue numerous times as well, saying, “We’ve got to dispel this myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage—that it’s some inevitable part of growing up. It’s not.”
Hopefully, the new district policy will help raise awareness about this serious issue and help alleviate problems at all schools.