Kirby School District 140 believes one of its primary responsibilities is the establishment of a safe learning environment for all students. The School District will require and support immediate attention to any behaviors that threaten the well-being of students and affect the student's educational environment.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Students who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Those who bully use their power - such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity - to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
To report an incidence of bullying, a student (or an adult on the student's behalf) should contact a staff member or administrator (classroom teacher, principal, school counselor, or social worker). Students or parents can also anonymously report any suspicious activity, bullying or other sensitive issues to the school office.
Peaceful Conflict Resolution / Kindergarten - Fifth Grade
Kirby School District is committed to educating and encouraging our students to participate in peaceful conflict resolution.
Classroom Guidance Lessons
Throughout the school year each classroom participates in classroom guidance lessons delivered by the school counselor. These engaging lessons incorporate classroom discussions, role playing. and the use of multimedia to teach children how to live with good character. An important part of having good character is being able to solve conflicts in a peaceful manner. Children are taught the importance of using “I messages” to communicate their feelings in a non-confrontational manner.
Each classroom is equipped with a “Conflict Corner”. This is a private area where students can go to with a peer to talk out a problem. Students enjoy using the “talking and listening sticks” as they share their feelings and brainstorm solutions together. Below is an example of the rules and script that are found on the “Conflict Corner”. Your child may even enjoy making their own “Conflict Corner” at home.
Conflict Corner Rules
- Look at the person and speak CALMLY.
- Take turns talking and listening.
(Use “I” statements)
- Think of ways to SOLVE the problem.
- State your plan and SHAKE ON IT.
“I Messages” (used with the “talking and listening sticks”)
- I Feel... (say how you feel)
- When you... (say what happened)
- PLEASE...(say what you need to make things better)
Books are often incorporated in Character Counts guidance lessons. These books help children discuss alternative ways to solve problems. The characters and storyline grab the attention of the children and they also offer them opportunities to discuss problem solving. These thought provoking books not only support the theme of conflict resolution, but they also encourage young readers to seek out these titles in their local library. Examples of the books that are currently being used in our elementary school classrooms are:
- Don’t Squeal Unless it’s a Big Deal By Jeanie Franz Ransom
- Enemy Pie By Derek Munson
Peer Mediators are students who are recognized as being respectful, trustworthy and caring individuals. Peer Mediation is a problem solving process that offers students a way to peacefully resolve common disputes that may occur with their peers.
Selected fourth and fifth grade students are given the opportunity to be trained as supervised peer mediators. Students who are trained to be mediators lead the process, but do not take sides. They are instructed to keep all information confidential. An adult will supervise the mediation, but the mediators themselves facilitate the mediation where solutions are created and an agreement is signed.
Fourth and fifth grade students in conflict are encouraged to first work the problem out themselves or with the help of the classroom Conflict Corner. If a solution is not found, students in conflict can then fill out a Peer Mediation Request form. This form can be found in each fourth and fifth grade classroom.