At Mpls. summit, educators take on bullyingby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Hundreds of principals and other school leaders gathered in Minneapolis Monday to discuss strategies for preventing bullying.
Speakers presented data and also what they called 'evidence-based' ideas for combating bullying.
In one survey, students said the most common places for bullying are the playground and lunchrooms, so one suggestion was more adult supervision in those areas.
P. Fred Storti, executive director of the Minnesota Elementary School Principals' Association, said the most important tactic is to train and educate everybody in a school.
"And when I say everybody, we're talking bus drivers, the cooks, the custodians, the playground supervisors, of course, the teachers ... and parents," he said. "So it really takes a whole school community to start to change the culture of bullying that it's not okay."
Storti said bullying has been a problem for decades, but it's intensified in recent years with the ability to bully online.
Marlene Snyder from Clemson University said the key for schools is to know is that any good anti-bullying program will take three to 10 years to institutionalize, and switching to a new program each year will prove ineffective.
"You can get bullying to come down, but it takes a team — and it takes a long-term commitment," Snyder said.
Nearly 13 percent of Minnesota youth reported being bullied regularly during last year's Minnesota Student survey, but Snyder added it's important for school leaders to survey their own students to assess bullying in their buildings.