By its very title, the report suggests that playgrounds, as well as other places in elementary schools, aren’t viewed as “safe” by many students.
Titled Playgrounds and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States, the report was released this week by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network. (GLSEN). It found, among other things, that 75 percent of elementary school students “are called names, made fun of, or bullied with at least some regularity.”
“Most commonly this is because of students’ looks or body size (67%), followed by not being good at sports (37%), how well they do at schoolwork (26%), not conforming to traditional gender norms/roles (23%) or because other people think they’re gay (21%),” the report said.
Along with the report, GLSEN also released Ready, Set, Respect! a toolkit for helping teachers understand bullying, gender nonconformity, and family diversity. Board members should also see NSBA’s extensive information on bullying and visit Students on Board, which recommends that school board members get critical information from some of the best sources around – students themselves.
“Honest conversations with students can be the quickest way you can move toward practical steps to sustain or improve school climate,” the Students on Board website says.
Also of interest this week is the National Journal’s Education forum on the push for more comprehensive education in civics. And NSBA’s Center for Public Education looks at a comprehensive study showing that teacher evaluations based on multiple criteria – including well-designed and regular classroom observations – can be highly effective and accurate.