Stop the bullying Focus on the good, positive qualities in people

-A A +A
By The Staff

This week we look at Asset #12, School Boundaries. According to the Search Institute, “Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when school provides clear rules and consequences.”

As the school year ends, the administration is beginning to create a singular path to bullying prevention, as part of a state mandate.

School counselors, along with administration, curriculum and the prevention specialist are creating a plan that will kick off the 2009/2010 school year. The work will begin by training fifth through ninth grade students and blending into the lower and upper grades, as part of a year long process.

The fascinating thing throughout this process has not been just that bullying exists, but to the extent to which it exists. It should also be stated that this problem exists not just within the school boundaries, but outside of the school system as well.

If we start within the school system, we find traditional types of bullying situations that as kids we all experienced when growing up. Today however, it has evolved in a way we could never imagine.

Did you know that most school personnel would rather be in the middle of a boy fight instead of a girl fight?

The game has changed with girls and is more a kin to a fight to the death. Boys tend to deal with the situation at hand and are more able to let it go.

How about the eye opener of parent to teacher bullying? Think it doesn’t exist, think again.

 I’ve even been told about parents who want to see a resume, to make sure the staff member should teach their student. I’ve heard about a parent that volunteered in a classroom and began to answer questions meant for students, to demonstrate their skill set.

I would love to illustrate examples of bullying within the community, but since our topic is school boundaries, we’ll save that for another day.

A good bet when dealing with situations is to find the good in every student or parent. Everyone has something, even deep down that could use a little focused attention. As a potential Asset builder, for a student or a parent, draw on that nugget of what is done well.

Can they be in charge of anything? Teach anything? Share anything? A focus on something done well takes the focus off the negative. Hence, we have what is called, the Asset Lens.

Imagine if the evening news highlighted only the wonderful things that happened that day? You couldn’t wait to get home to see it. The money paid to promote products featured on the news might go through the roof.

It doesn’t mean the bad things don’t exist, but it puts a better frame around the whole picture.

Well, life as a kid is pretty much the same. The occasions are few and far between when the good stuff is the focus of attention. In this community if you take away education and sports, there may not be a whole lot for some to address.

How nice would it be if our school boundaries needed to be reduced because there was too much cause for celebration?

I don’t mean regular classroom parties, but we promoted all of the wonderful things accomplished and needed to take a breather from so much greatness.

Our Asset Builder of the week is seventh grade science teacher Curtis Terrill of Los Alamos Middle School. Terrill, apart from demonstrating a stellar rendition of Mother Ginger, in “The Nutcracker,” makes classroom learning fun.

As a bonus, recently appearing as a member of the more “mature,” team against the eighth grade Lady Hawks’s volleyball team, Terrill demonstrates that connection to our youth that makes a difference in their daily life. Go Mr. Terrill!

If you would like to nominate someone to be the Assets builder of the week, email us at www.AssetsInAction.info. Assets in Action is sponsored by the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and is a community building program of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce.