DPS anti-bullying conference kicks off at Cobo Hall

Detroit Public Schools High School students kicked off an anti-bullying conference at Cobo Hall Friday, May 6. Approximately 1,500 student leaders from district schools in grades K-12 will be provided with educational workshops on anti-bullying, for approximately four hours. Training will supplement the Second Step Curriculum and/or the Michigan Model curriculum. Training will continue next week for middle school and elementary school students.

  From the conference, participants will be able to:

  • Define bullying / harassment
  • Outline steps to follow when he/she feels that they are bullied
  • List available resources for victims of bullying
  • Outline laws and consequences related to bulling activity
  • Articulate a personal role in assisting bullying prevention

The conference last week included a component of training for teachers and parents. Among the products developed is a school resource guide, which includes a comprehensive binder of materials necessary to plan, execute, and measure successful anti-bullying initiatives.

 A district-wide contest resulted in a student generated “logo” for the anti-bullying initiative. The logo is being integrated into materials developed and published for a district-wide campaign. Other components include: an anti-bullying curriculum guide (Social Studies curriculum integration); anti-bullying education booklet for parents/guardians (including district policies, prevention and intervention information); anti-bullying (workplace) materials for school personnel and an anti-bullying student instruction video.

 Students from select arts-based high schools have executed a play for students about anti-bullying and DPS policies. CD-ROMs of the student performance will be made available for each school building.

Upcoming anti-bullying dates at Cobo Hall are:

8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday, May 9, 2011 – Middle School

8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesday May 10, 2011 – Elementary School  (Playworks will facilitate the day)

More than 100 Detroit Public Schools started the new year by working to banish bullying and other problems, thanks to the district’s Conflict Resolution Initiative, a $2.5 million program aimed at equipping students, teachers, principals and parents with the skills needed to resolve school-based conflicts, increase tolerance and ward off behaviors that can lead to bullying.

Every school in the district is being paired with a partner company that will work alongside school staff to implement the initiative, which is being funded through Title I, Title IV and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The program began last fall in 31 schools, followed by an additional 107 schools.

DPS this summer adopted a new anti-bullying and harassment policy, but the Conflict Resolution Initiative takes that effort a step further by providing school-based support from 10 providers, which principals selected based on the unique needs of their students.

The companies use different approaches to reducing conflict on school campuses, including working with students directly to train them on conflict resolution techniques, training entire school buildings on how to identify and resolve conflict and even how to resolve differences through play.

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