The Newark Unified School District is a "No Bully Zone," says Superintendent Dave Marken.
"We can no longer remain on the sidelines holding the notion that, 'kids will be kids,'" Marken wrote in a letter recently posted on the school district's website.
The district has responded to growing concerns over cyber-bullying by providing resources for children and parents. Various online resources can be found on the district's No Bully Zone page.
This newer digital method of taunting and intimidation has led to an increased number of bully-related suicides, according to Marken. What's more, many of these situations go unreported, the superintendent said.
"Far too many of our students suffer in silence, being haunted in our hallways and tormented in cyberspace," Marken wrote.
Marken also offers these following anti-bullying tips:
- Be observant and document what is seen
- Encourage students/adults to report incidents of bullying
- Be on the lookout for bully/victim
- Listen to and report rumors of bullying
- Provide close supervision to vulnerable to vulnerable students
- Adopt strong board policy to enforce consequences for bullying behavior
- Understand the dynamic of cyber-bullying. (text, you-tube, cellphones, etc.)
Some additional online resources include shared by Marken include:
- A Thin Line: a website for young people — www.athinline.com
- Bullying in Schools and What To Do About It: free materials and research briefs with a restrictive justice approach to bullying — www.kenrigby.net
- Cyber bullying Research Center: updated information about the causes and consequences of cyber bullying among adolescents — www.cyberbullying.us