Brookfield Middle School Principal Craig Boles has been working on a plan to address bullying for some time – possibly going back to his hiring in 2019 – and is not finished, yet.

But, after meetings with parent groups, including one on April 18, he has ideas about what should be in that plan.

“It looks like I have a lot of work,” he said.

Boles is taking the lead but assured parents that the effort will not be limited to the middle school. At some point, the elementary and high school principals will be brought in to create a district-wide plan, and newly hired Community Liaison Sabbrina Landers has joined the discussion.

“I wanna get a framework in place so that each building is not doing something different,” he said.

Boles last year created an official reporting system for alleged instances of bullying, and he has been notified officially of 10 incidents this year. However, only in two cases were informational forms filled out by the complainants.

A parent on April 18 found the form, which also is used in the high school, too complex for middle school students and possibly for some parents. She suggested Boles sit down with the student to explain the form.

Boles asked for suggestions on how to reach students and parents about the school’s anti-bullying policy and what they should do if they want to report an incident. Parents recommended presentations anytime groups of parents and students are together, such as at kindergarten orientation, middle school open house and freshman orientation. They also suggested using the school’s social media sites to highlight aspects of bullying, such as warning signs that a student is being bullied.

Boles said future professional development sessions will be geared to teaching teachers the signs that someone is being bullied.

A parent also suggested creating more activities that seek to build up school spirit and acceptance.

Boles said Assistant Principal Stephanie Oyster is creating a program to have middle school students mentor elementary students, and Guidance Counselor Heather Huff plans to train middle school students to teach social-emotional learning lessons to elementary students.

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