Helena Health Occupation Students of America received a $2,000 grant from the Office of Public Instruction to develop projects that use anti-bullying lesson plans and teaching strategies in presentations to their peers throughout the district.
“Empowering students to lead the way on school and community efforts to prevent bullying is an important strategy in bullying prevention,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. “Peer to peer influence is an extremely powerful tool that will help us create safe learning spaces where every student is treated with dignity and respect.”
A survey of young people in the area last year showed nearly 40 percent of junior high students and one fourth of high school students reported being bullied, and 18 percent of junior high and high school students reported being cyber-bullied. Last year, 41 percent of those surveyed said bullying is a problem in their school. The survey included about 14,500 Montana students in grades six through 12 surveyed about school climate.
“I want parents and students to feel secure in knowing that no matter what school students attend or what town they grow up in, practical guidelines and protections that offer clear definitions and transparent procedures for investigations will be in place,” said Juneau. “The Bully-Free Montana website will be a resource for schools, students and families who are trying to address and prevent bullying.”
In coordination with the student presentations, Juneau launched a new website to provide tools and support for schools, students and families on bullying prevention.
Resources included on the Bully Free Montana website include: model policies and procedures for schools, what students can do if they are being bullied or cyber-bullied, tips for parents and ways for schools to assess their effectiveness regarding bullying prevention and intervention.
Go to http://opi.mt.gov/bullyfree.