Brookfield Middle School Principal Craig Boles said he wants all of his students to feel safe while they’re in the school.
Yet, he knows that there are some who do not. With the help of parents, he is trying to improve the already-in-place system to address bullying, and find ways to spread the word about what bullying is, what it does to kids who are bullied, and the long-term consequences on those who are bullied and those who do the bullying.
Boles has started a bullying prevention committee that has just taken its first steps, but parents who have sat in on sessions feel good about the shape the effort is taking.
“Ultimately, what we want to do is create a framework that makes every student feel like they’re safe; that’s the first thing,” Boles said. “The second thing is, make parents and students aware of the definitions of bullying, what it truly looks like, know what the consequences are and how they can get involved with the school and how we can collaborate to create the environment that’s good for everybody.”
Boles is laying on the table all aspects of the school’s bullying prevention effort, from defining it and how it is reported, to the consequences and the education of students, staff and parents concerning all aspects of the problem.
Parent Marlena Blatt said she knows how sensitive a topic bullying is, but also believes there is not enough awareness of it. She said she had talked to Boles in the past about the parental perception that nothing is done about it.
Noting that she has enjoyed hearing what other parents who have attended committee meetings have said, she said, “I think that we’re progressing into where we want to be in the future.”
It might take years to get there, but it’s worth the effort, Blatt said.
“I’m very surprised and satisfied with everything that’s been laid out, and what they want to work towards getting to,” said parent Julie Herdman at a Nov. 10 committee meeting. “There just needs to be more education out to the kids of what bullying is and what bullying does to other students.”
Boles said he invites anyone who is interested in the effort to call him at the school, or show up at future committee meetings. The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 8. Enter the middle school entrance and go to room 318.