Bullying is defined when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself.
We have 4 school-wide rules that we follow:
1. We will not bully others.
2. We will help others who are being bullied.
3. We will include others who are being left out.
4. If someone is being bullied we will tell an adult at school or at home.
This year our theme is "Shine!" We want every student to find that sparkle that makes them special; a gift that makes them unique, and we want to let that gift shine. It kids learn to appreciate differences in others instead of fearing them what a wonderful world it would be. All of the kids will get a glowstick and we will sing together and talk about our goals for the year to come. Today is Crazy Hair Day so we will have quite an assemblage of characters!
One of the things that I love about Mt.Vernon is the age range of third to fifth graders. You see, they are so close in age that there are really no "big fish" here at school the way that there are in a kindergarten through fifth grade school. Instead, we have a group of kids who are just vulnerable, weird, cute, growing, and sweet. They are too big to be little and too young to be old. It's that in between awesomeness that makes up our crazy school. When we get together to talk about things that are important, they have learned through their class meetings how to share and how to be respectful. You would have tears in your eyes if you could hear what some of our kids say about goals and dreams, or what hurts them, or how they think they need to change. We think our kids are perfect just as they are and we want their lights to shine brightly.
In closing, I want to address something that is often spoken about in the media. Recently there has been a strong of tragedies across the country. "Bullying" is often tabled as a reason. We can all attest to the fact that bullying is a problem, and when it happens it is painful. When terrible things happen it is easy to think, "That poor person must have been bullied". It is very important to remember that tragedies of such a terrible magnitude are multifaceted. Bullying certainly may play a part in what happened, but there are also factors such as mental health, environmental stressors, and situational dynamics that play a part when individuals resort to violence.
I want to assure you that at Greenock and Mt.Vernon and throughout Elizabeth Forward we do our very best to provide a loving and supportive atmosphere for our kids. When bullying happens we address it right away. When we know a child is hurting we gather around them and let them know how much we love and care about them. There might be other things that we do for families that are unseen. If you know of a problem that a child is having please contact me. Together we can help all of our children shine.