Beating bullying in Eugene's schools

Beating bullying in Eugene's schools

 EUGENE, Ore. -- As a part of making a welcoming classroom atmosphere for kids returning to school , the Eugene 4J School District launched a new program to combat bullying called "caring for Kids". District coordinator Kerry Delf said that the program targets all forms of bullying, on a large scale or small.

"People think of bullying a lot of times as the fear of being beaten up at the bus stop or these other large scale behaviors." said Delf.

The idea is to build a community inside of the classroom, which helps to stop the smaller behaviors that can add up to bigger bullying problems. The new program helps kids develop caring, respect and kindness.

District superintendent Shelley Berman said that bullying behaviors can be combated through group discussions that incorporate all members of the classroom.

"It begins with things like morning meetings, class meetings, closing  meetings at the end of the school day." said Berman. "Ways that students can come together and learn the kind of social skills that are important to support each other."

The district mailed out an informational packet before the start of the school year detailing the new program. Enclosed in the packet was a rights and responsibilities handbook for the classroom and a step-by-step guide for filing a bullying complaint.

Berman said that the endgame for the packet is to let students know how to intervene and support other students when bullying occurs.

"I've only been here for a year, but I haven't found the incidence of bullying as high here as it is in other districts." said Berman.

Superintendent Berman said that the district has done a great job of teaching students how to intervene when they see conflict. Officials said that the best thing that kids can do if they witness bullying is to tell an adult, which is something that the district feels that students must be taught.