FARMINGTON – When the sixth graders were asked if they’d ever been bullied, not a single hand went up.
When they were asked if they’d ever seen someone being victimized by a bully, again, not a single hand went up.
That’s unusual, according to a presenters visiting the school to teach an anti-bullying workshop. Usually lots of hands go up.
That’s when Don Beatty, principal at Mountain View Elementary in Layton, knew the program implemented at the school was working.
It has worked so well, in fact, that Davis School District is now offering the program piloted at Mountain View and North Layton Junior High to all interested schools.
“We had an extremely successful year in piloting this,” said Brad Christensen, director of student services for Davis School District. “Even today it’s paying dividends.”
Schools that implement the program use a Google application that allows them to set up a phone number and distribute it to students. Students who witness bulling can call the number, their message is transcribed to a text and sent immediately to the principal, school resource officer, school counselor and vice principal.
Beatty visited each classroom at the beginning of the school year in 2011 to explain the system. He passed out wristbands with the number listed and has found that many students have since memorized it.
“We can’t be at the bus stop 24/7 or walking to school, where typically the bullying occurs, because there is not adult supervision there,” he said. “We talked to the kids about being observers and witnessing bullying and we talked to them about how sometimes when you see something that’s unsafe you feel as if you were the victim yourself.”
For more information check out the Nov.15 edition of Davis Clipper.