The Middle School recently launched a program lead by the Educational Council, called Stop It…That Hurts. The program involves students, families and staff working together to create a respectful and caring school environment.
Researchers have attributed acts of bullying to the underdevelopment of pro-social skills (Woods & Wolke, 2004; Larke & Beran, 2006). To stop bullying, schools must look at its prevention. We know that the most effective proactive approach to counter-acting bullying is teaching children positive pro-social skills.
You may ask “what exactly are pro-social skills?” Pro-social skills, simply put, are positive ways that children socially interact with each other. Pro-social skills: Cooperating, kindness, caring, sympathy, helping, and giving.
In the fall a group of 14 Canal Winchester Middle School Students were chosen by staff members to examine the issue of bullying. The adults stepped away and let the student team determine the action steps for their school’s improved climate.
These students established a program specifically for the school called Similar but Different. The title acknowledges that students all have many things in common, but respectfully acknowledge the differences amongst themselves.
Goals set by students, for students
· Students will not harm other students with words, including starting, listening or spreading rumors, at school, via texting or social media.
· Students will make a meaningful connection with another student who is different from him/her self.
· Students will support each other in making these choices, recognizing those who are kind and who demonstrate the above activities.
To show support of these activities the core student group recognizes those who are part of the solution with a Similar but Different bracelet. The goal is to have all students elect to participate in the movement.