Articles tagged with school climate

New online at ASBJ.com: Dealing with adult bullying

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for the American School Board Journal on bullying. It was a belated follow-up to a decade-old article I wrote in the wake of the 1999 Columbine shootings. The education world changed after Columbine, particularly in the area of student safety and security. I was pleased to find out in my research that school leaders, administrators, and educators were taking bullying and student aggression much more seriously than before the tragedy. 

I interviewed counselor and author Stan Davis for my article, and I’ll never forget what he had to say about bullying prevention.

All schools have an overt culture and a hidden one, he said. “Kids are paying attention to the hidden one. They will see if we welcome new staff, and if we will listen to hate speech.”

If adults are permitted to bully and mistreat each other, or their students, no program, assembly, or curriculum will have much impact.

I had his words in mind when I assigned Senior Editor Naomi Dillon ASBJ’s October cover story, “Adults Behaving Badly,” now online on ASBJ.com. Dillon looks at the phenomenon of work place bullying. Lean budget times, school layoffs, and high-stakes testing pressure have created a toxic environment in some districts. In some cases, the toxicity is fueled by social networking sites. If not addressed, bullying among adults will spread to students. As educators and parents all know, children are watching your actions more than paying attention to your words.

Also as part of our school climate coverage, Senior Editor Lawrence Hardy writes about how some districts are working to reduce racial, ethnic and cultural tensions while creating an environment where children can thrive. “How’s Your Climate?” is also available at www.asbj.com.

Take a look at what we have online this month and please feel free to comment.

Kathleen Vail|October 12th, 2011|Categories: American School Board Journal, Bullying, NSBA Publications, School Climate, School Security, Social Networking|Tags: , , , , , , |

October issue of ASBJ now online

While national attention and energy has rightfully focused on the phenomenon of peer-to-peer bullying, what’s been missing from the scrutiny is a hard look at the relationships and interaction among the adults in the school community.

Enter the October issue of American School Board Journal, which is now live and online. In the latest issue, you’ll find a collection of articles that examine the issue of school culture and climate, from a variety of perspectives and perpetrators.

It’s an important and timely read on a complicated issue that has real implications for school reform efforts.

Naomi Dillon|October 5th, 2011|Categories: American School Board Journal, School Climate|Tags: , , , , |

Video: NSBA discusses school climate and bullying on Comcast Newsmakers

BoardBuzz recommends you check out Mary Broderick, President of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), recent appearance on Comcast Newsmakers.

Broderick discusses school climate, bullying, and cyberbullying, and promotes NSBA’s Students on Board: A Conversation Between School Board Members and Studentsproject to get school board members across the country to start talking with students about school climate.

Alexis Rice|August 18th, 2011|Categories: Bullying, Center for Public Education, NSBA Opinions and Analysis, School Boards, School Climate, Student Achievement, Teachers|Tags: , , , , , , , |

New NSBA guide helps school officials discuss bullying, climate issues

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has launched board-student conversations to help school board members better address bullying and harassment issues in their schools and facilitate conversations with students.

Dubbed Students on Board: A Conversation Between School Board Members and Students, the project focuses on practical, straightforward guidance to help engage students. A brochure created by the Center for Public Education outlines ways to set up a meeting with students, school board members, and other school staff and what questions to ask to encourage a conversation about school climate.

In addition, a new website, www.nsba.org/studentsonboard, compiles existing resources from NSBA and other groups.

“To address school climate, local school boards must listen to students and create an environment to analyze root causes and generate solutions that work for their community,” said Mary Broderick, President of NSBA and a member of Connecticut’s East Lyme Board of Education.

Research has continuously shown that schools where students are safe, academically engaged, and supported by the adults in the building are more likely to have fewer dropouts and higher student performance. One-third of students aged 12 to 18 report being bullied at school with the most common form of bullying being verbal, either through insults, ridicule, or being the subject of rumors.

Unfortunately, a survey by NSBA’s Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) found that most teachers and administrators believe students are being bullied at least once a month in schools and classrooms. Bullying appears to be the most prevalent in middle schools, based on CUBE’s surveys and data from the National Center for Education Statistics. However, about three-quarters of teachers and administrators say they are able to discourage bullying.

“Students on Board helps school board members incorporate practices that ensure they hear directly from the young people their schools serve,” said Mark Nieker, President and CEO of the Pearson Foundation, which funded the project. “Research-based surveys can provide an immediate, detailed snapshot of their own school climate. With this baseline, schools can take concrete steps to improve their students’ experience—and they can provide similarly focused and informed support for their classroom teachers.”

Joetta Sack-Min|August 10th, 2011|Categories: Bullying, Center for Public Education, NSBA Publications, School Climate|Tags: , |
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