Bullying Must Stop

Bullying Must Stop
Posted on 10/27/2017

Bullying is a serious problem that can be observed in schools, neighborhoods, the media, and many other places in our society. Bullying sometimes occurs in the Menomonie Area, and it is not isolated to only our schools or our children. Despite sustained efforts by many in our schools to encourage partnerships with parents and community members, some people continue to use social media and other platforms to make threats, call names, misrepresent the truth, and complain in a manner indicative of the very behavior with which he or she might be concerned.

According to board policy in the School District of the Menomonie Area (SDMA), bullying is a deliberate behavior using words, social actions, or physical actions intended to cause fear, or a real or perceived imbalance of power. Bullying may be a repeated behavior or a significant isolated event, and it may be serious enough to negatively impact a person’s education, physical, or emotional well-being. Bullying shall not be tolerated in the SDMA, and any instances of bullying in our schools are to be investigated and documented through the procedures prescribed in board policy and administrative rules.

Bullying is taken quite seriously in the School District of the Menomonie Area, and in addition to having policies and rules related to bullying, a large amount of time and resources are spent each year on both bullying prevention and in response to bullying actions. Children are taught to “speak up to stop bullying” in various parts of the school district’s curriculum, and our school district often hosts motivational speakers and partners with other outside agencies to bolster effectiveness in this area.

Earlier this year, our school district was happy to have Loretta Claiborne speak to many of our middle and high school students about inclusion, and during this last week of October, the Dunn County Partnership for Youth was at Menomonie Middle School to work with students and staff.  As part of these bullying prevention efforts, several students took a pledge to stand together against bullying and signed an anti-bullying banner that hangs in the school. At Menomonie High School last year, the student council organized various activities along these lines, and students participated in the very successful Dude. Be Nice. campaign that included a visit from well-known guest speaker Mike Smith.

Teachers, principals, and all other employees in the SDMA are fully committed to developing healthy relationships with our students, providing good supervision, and taking appropriate actions when necessary. Our school district’s internet filter screens for cyberbullying, and our staff members carefully monitor student interactions. In order to really curb bullying in Menomonie, however, it is imperative that we all work together. It is important that students, staff, parents, and community members are diligent in reporting bullying in a timely, detailed, and complete manner so that school officials, and in some cases law enforcement officers, can take actions that are necessary to keep our children healthy and safe.

Should school families or stakeholders have any questions about bullying in our schools or anything else related to our school district, I invite you to contact our building principals, or visit with me at the Administrative Service Center on Pine Avenue. School stakeholders are also welcome to call me at 715-232-1642. More information about our schools can be found on the school district website (www.sdmaonline.com), and I regularly post school-related information on Twitter (www.twitter.com/sdmaonline) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/menomonie.schools).