Each school’s anti-bullying efforts contribute new and exciting ideas to share with others.
Read how Abbott Middle School in San Mateo, CA has created a Campus Climate Committee with a range of exciting and interactive activities. As part of this work, Abbott teachers have also made a “promise” to support their students.
Abbott has embarked upon a spirited campaign to decrease bullying, and more to the point, create a community of citizens that value treating one another with respect and empathy.
We developed the Campus Climate Committee (CCC) to include students, parents, and teachers to lead this project. The students developed activities to address areas of concern such as rumors, the isolation of bullied students, and being an upstander. We wanted to promote awareness among students and staff on the problems that occur when bullying is left unchecked, and how to proactively engage in intervening.
Here are some recommended CCC activities:
Vision Statement: We created a vision statement to serve as a guiding principle that points us toward our ideal for co-existing on our campus. Our vision statement is now posted in every classroom and throughout the school. It reads, “At Abbott Middle School, we value mutual respect, empathy, good choices, teamwork, and trust. We believe that a safe learning environment will promote success for everyone. WE ARE ABBOTT.”
Kick Off Week: The CCC designed a ‘kick off’ week to lead into other activities and events throughout the year. We began with Ann Brownell, who created the Amanda Network (link) to promote anti-bullying in schools based on the tragic story of her own daughter. This highly emotional and impactful presentation was then repeated for parents in the evening.
Start a Rumor Day: Our seventh graders have especially been into drama around various rumors that are certainly stirring the pot. So, we had a Start a Rumor Day' in September, which was intended to show students how quickly rumors spread and how harmful they can be. The principal started a fake rumor that students were going to have uniforms. It spread like wildfire across the school. By midday, the principal clarified it was a rumor and pointed out how fast rumors spread false information.
Teacher Promise Statement: A teacher ‘promise statement’ was rolled out after the fall intercession, which supports the ideals of the vision statement, but goes further as it underscores the intention of our teachers to make sure that every classroom is a respectful and safe environment for all to learn. (Read full statement below.)
Currently, the Campus Climate Committee is developing new events and activities based in part on the work of Not in Our School. The committee has 3 student-run teams doing three different multimedia projects. Student teams are:
- Producing a video based on the NIOS, “Students Shattering Stereotypes” video
- Creating a schoolwide music video with an anti-bullying message
- Interviewing classmates to support upstander awareness.
All projects will be aired weekly this December on our school’s closed-circuit television station.
The student participants on CCC have been so enthusiastic and energetic one can’t help but feel that the future is bright for Abbott and the community at large.
Check out Abbott Middle School’s No Bully Page
Contributed by Jordan Sher, who is in his 8th year of teaching at Abbott Middle School in San Mateo, CA. He teaches 6th grade core in the subjects of Social Studies and Language Arts, 7th grade social studies, and 7th grade Debate elective. Jordan has a Master of Social Work (MSW) and has also worked in the non-profit sector for over 22 years as clinician and administrator.
Abbott Teachers’ Promise Statement
I promise to create a culture in which students give and get respect. To be in an environment that promotes learning for all those who enter my classroom. To be in a place where all students feel free to take risks and know that I will uphold that feeling of safety and security.
I commit to supporting students as they grow and learn, achieve and persevere, and get to know themselves as developing members of society.
I will encourage students to be positive, strive toward academic and social success. I will support the choices that make them part of the solution, and guide them when they are not.
I will promote the idea that all voices are heard in the diverse world we live in.
I will maintain a classroom in which all students feel safe in knowing that diversity and individuality are valued. That, in my classroom, all students feel supported as they develop socially, emotionally, and physically.