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Tyrone Elementary School to hold bullying prevention program kick-off assembly

The Tyrone Elementary School has scheduled an assembly at the high school auditorium from 1:30-2:15 p.m. on Friday, January 31 for students in grades kindergarten through fifth to prevent bullying. Parents are invited to attend.
“We’re going to introduce the program that’s been used internationally, reminding them (students) and letting them know what bullying is,” said Laura DiDomenico, safe school coordinator for TASD.
The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is an internationally recognized program designed to reduce and prevent bully/victim problems at school. Before the assembly on Friday, students in grades three, four and five have had lessons about bullying taught by guidance counselors in the classroom. Students in kindergarten, one and two have had lessons from another program entitled P.A.T.H.S.
Also, all elementary staff members and support staff have received training on this bullying program including: teachers, aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and secretaries.
“The staff were very welcoming to the program, especially the support staff because they were included,” said DiDomenico. “They know we recognize that the kids spend fifty percent of the time with them. They’re not just with their classroom teacher all day. We recognize that and value their help.”
With this training, all staff should have a better awareness of what is considered bullying and how to report it.
“Everybody is involved. Everybody is going to have communication,” added DiDomenico.
In addition to the lessons about bullying for the students and the training for the staff, questionnaires were handed out in December to collect further information before the assembly. Students in grades three, four and five answered questions about bullying, and that is how the school learned where, when and how bullying takes place.
“It’s geared for our school, what’s going on in our school,” added DiDomenico of the program.
The information from the survey allowed the school to see what areas need to be focused on to stop bullying, and the prevention program is tailored to fit the school’s needs.
The purpose of the assembly on Friday is to get the students excited about the program because it is really only in the beginning stages.
“We’re using the varsity cheerleaders, we’re doing a bunch of skits, we’re keeping it fun and light,” said DiDomenico of the assembly. “We’re going to have the eagle mascot participate. We have high school athletes who are going to come out and say things.
“We’re going to have people come out and give testimonies to when they were younger and say, ‘I was a bully or I was a victim.’ They’re going to watch a short movie to see how to stop the person from bullying you. We want to get them psyched up for the program.”
On Monday parent volunteers are scheduled to come into each class and post the rules about bullying and discuss the topic in more detail. Every few weeks curriculum will be taught to the students about bullying prevention. In March another presentation is scheduled, and eventually the students will do another questionnaire where the school can use the information to see if attitudes have changed towards bullying.
“It’s not a huge problem,” said DiDomenico. “But if one child is getting bullied, we have to do something about it.”