Wayne educators want parents, teachers, and children to be on the same page regarding bullying.
As part of that initiative, the district will host a special community forum on bullying at Wayne Hills High School Monday Jan. 14 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Naomi Conklin, the district’s anti-bullying coordinator, said the forum is part of the district’s overall strategy of reducing the amount of bullying in the district. Communication and trust are vital to components to that strategy, she said.
“We need to promote a school culture and climate that welcomes and encourages communication between students and staff on a continual basis so that it wouldn’t take an extra-ordinary circumstance for a student to share information,” Conklin said. “Creating a culture where students can communicate with a trusted adult is important.”
The district is participating in Rutgers University’s Bullying Prevention Institute’s yearlong training plan. The project is designed to help the district further organize a set of strategies designed to reduce the number of bullying incidents. Only 10 other districts are participating in the project.
The district is required to submit a bullying prevention plan in June as part of the initiative. That plan will include recommendations regarding programs that can be implemented that will ensure comfort, safety, and civility in district schools, Conklin said.
Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with Conklin and several anti-bullying specialists from various district schools at the meeting.
A guest speaker will discuss the topic of “A Culture That Teaches Bullying: What Parents Should Know and Understand and What They Can Do.”
Superintendent Ray Gonzalez gives a report of the number of incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying in the district within a two-week period at each Board of Education meeting.
Governor Chris Christie signed a new Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights into law two years ago. The law requires that teaches and school personnel must report incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying to principals the day they occur.
For more information, contact Conklin at firstname.lastname@example.org.