Schools across the state this week will be observing Kansas Anti-Bullying Awareness Week.
According to the Kansas State Department of Education, by resolution, the Kansas Senate and the Kansas State Board of Education have declared the first full week in October Anti-Bullying Awareness Week. Kent Reed, an education program consultant, counseling and social-emotional character development, for the agency’s Career, Standards and Assessment Services team said “In the past, we have selected a theme, but our experience is that the local school districts prefer to select their own.”
However, the KSDE School Mental Health Team is challenging individuals and schools across the state to wear pink to raise awareness and address the harm that bullying creates, Reed said. Snap a photograph of yourself wearing pink and share it on social media platforms with the hashtag #BullyingStopsHere. Be sure to tag @ksdehq.
KSDE also has partnered with the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Kansas Children’s Service League and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) to create the Choose Peace poster. The poster lists phone numbers and a QR code that students can use to report threats of school violence, acts of bullying and suspicious activity. The resources are:
- Kansas School Safety Hotline (threats of school violence): (877) 626-8203.
- Parent and Youth Resource Hotline (acts of bullying): (800) CHILDREN.
- Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) (QR code available on poster): https://www.kbi.ks.gov/sar.
The poster can be downloaded here.
The 2022 Communities That Care Survey, which is conducted annually and anonymously with sixth, eighth, 10th and 12 graders, shows that 27.7% of respondents had been bullied at least once during the past month. At least 52.8% had seen someone being bullied, and more than 20% of student respondents reported being bullied at school one to two times per month or more frequently.
The survey shows that more than one-third of students reported that when they see bullying at school, an adult stops it and solves the problem.
Nationally, about 20% of students ages 12 to 18 have experienced bullying, according to stopbullying.gov, a United States government website.
Students in grades ninth through 12th experience bullying in various places at school, including the hallway or stairwell (43.4%); classroom (42.1%); cafeteria (26.8%); outside on school grounds (21.9%); and bathroom or locker room (12.1%), according to stopbullying.gov.
“Parents, school staff and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment and creating a communitywide bullying prevention strategy,” the website states.
For more information about Kansas Anti-Bullying Week or for resources to help stop bullying, visit https://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Career-Standards-and-Assessment-Services/Content-Area-M-Z/School-Counseling/School-Counseling-Resources/Anti-Bullying-Awareness.
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