Encouraging a Positive School Climate One Initiative at a TimeAscension Episcopal School tackles the topic of bullying and school climate with love, education, and empathy. Over the course of this year, Downtown Campus teacher Heather Gros has directed several initiatives with the assistance of the middle student council, chapel council, media students, and downtown teachers via advisory lessons.
Heather Gros reports, "During February, student leaders explored Ascension's school climate by completing a School Climate Walkthrough and School Climate Report Card survey. In the past six years, we (Student Council, Advisory, Blue Gator Buzz) have hosted positive initiatives like Bucket Filling, care cards, Shout-outs, and community chalkboards. Our students have also participated in nation-wide campaigns such as Random Acts of Kindness Week, Stand Up to Bullying/Take a Stand, Beyond Differences' Know Your Classmates Day, No One Eats Alone Day, and Be Kind Online Day!"
After hearing from anti-bullying speaker Marie Collins, Executive Director at The Family Tree, Heather continued the bullying conversation with her Middle School Student Council. "The majority of our student leaders agreed that our biggest problem is that many students say they are joking when it hurts the feelings of others. Overall, students believe we are a close-knit "family."
Here are a few points of our discussion:
- The definition of bullying
- Empathy - How would YOU feel if you were in their shoes?
- Reality is you won't be best friends with everyone.
- You don't have to like everyone, but you do have to respect them and work with them.
- Stand up for yourself and others.
- Do the right thing.
- See something. Say something.
- It starts with you. Be the change you wish to see."
Last week, lower and middle school students created a Kindness tree and engaged in meaningful conversations during No One Eats Alone Day.
For more pictures from No One Eats Alone Day, click here.