Unit 4 responds to anti-bullying Facebook group
Unit 4 Schools responds to an anti-bullying Facebook group circulating through the community.
The group, “Community Alliance Against Bullying in Unit 4 Schools”, was created by Unit 4 parent, Jamie Stevens.
“I’m a big believer that you can’t complain about something unless you’re willing to do something about it,” Stevens said.
Stevens is on a mission to kick bullying out of Unit 4 Schools. She said the problem has gotten out of control with her sixth grader getting bullied on a regular basis.
Stevens said it's gotten to the point where she's reporting incidents of bullying to Jefferson Middle School administrators on a regular basis.
“It’s too much,” she said. “Literally every time I do, they respond and they talk to the kid. We need to be doing more than that.”
Unit 4 Superintendent Dr. Susan Zola said the district takes all reports of bullying seriously.
“When we know about it, we can respond to it,” Zola said. “We can make accommodations, we can do what we should do to respond to the victim and also to those students who also probably need some support to have more success in our school setting.”
With no permanent solution in sight, Stevens took to social media and created a Facebook group for students, parents, administrators and community members.
“My intention of the group is not to criticize the administration, but to support them and to collaborate with them, and come up with some ideas,” Stevens said.
Her hope is that the group will start a new kind of dialogue about bullying in the community.
“Open up that conversation, because then, the kid can say ‘Hey, I’m being bullied’, or they can talk about, ‘I saw this happening’.”
This group is the first of its kind for Unit 4, but it doesn’t come as a surprise.
“One of the things that we know about education is that it’s always evolving,” Zola said. “It’s a continuous improvement process. We also know that social media, over the last five to ten years, has really added a layer around some of the work that impacts schools.”
Unit 4 stands by its bullying prevention policies, but administrators are always open to new ideas.