CPSB holds workshop on bullying

CPSB holds workshop on bullying

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - According to Stephanie Jensen, the presenter at Tuesday's anti-bullying workshop, every seven minutes a child is bullied. And one in five admits to bullying.

In an effort to address bullying, Stephanie Jensen was invited to give a presentation Tuesday.

"Today's meeting is to make persons aware of the problems that we've having, not just in the school system, but in the larger community in the area of bullying," said Valla Johnson, Disproportionality Program Administrator for Calcasieu Parish Schools.

Johnson says many educators aren't aware of how to identify bullying. Jensen offers a definition.

"It has to be repeated, it has to be intentional, and there has to be a power imbalance," explained Jensen.

Attendees Tuesday ranged from educators to parents and even students from Our Lady's School, who say bullying isn't a problem there, but they started an anti-bullying group anyway.

"In about a month we're going to show them a movie and see what they think about it and ask them what bullying is," said Cole Pharris, President of the OLS 'Stomp Out Bullying'group.

And bullying can be physical, verbal, socio-emotional or cyber.

Although so much is already known about bullying, Jensen says one of the reasons it continues is because of a level of disconnect.

She says Calcasieu Parish has a great policy that guides interventions, however, "The policy is about two pages. And so when we want to put that into practice, in quick ways, we're working with kids that have short attention spans, we need to be able to define it in quick and concise ways so they understand what it is, but that everything we do is guided by that policy."

Also in attendance, CPSB President, Annette Ballard added, "Anytime we have policies there's always an opportunity for us to look at it, tweak it, and the important thing is to be willing to look at it and do what we need to do."

Jensen says having those policies in place are key to ending the behavior. It's also important to stop it when you see it and support those involved.

"Not only the individual that was the target of the bullying behaviors, but also those students that witnessed it, as well as the individuals engaging in the behaviors," said Jensen.

Then maybe, Superintendent of Calcasieu Parish schools Wayne Savoy says, "This problem will eventually go away."

Jensen says girls and boys engage in bullying behaviors equally. She says most associate boys with it, though, because they're bullying is physical so it's more obvious to see. However, girls associate in relational bullying, which is just as harmful.

Boys Town National Hotline: 1-800-448-3000, www.boystowntraining.org

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