Bullying the Focus of UEA Workshop

Bullying the Focus of UEA Workshop

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Samantha Hayes ReportingYou can probably remember who did it when you were in school--the kid who picked on others and maybe got away with it. There's nothing new about bullying, but at this year's UEA convention it is the subject of a workshop for new teachers.

Bullying has been targeted as the cause of many violent episodes in school across the country, especially school shootings. It’s also on the minds of Utah educators after a student went to the hospital with serious injuries just this past week.

They cover a lot of ground at the UEA Convention.

Jay Blain, High school teacher: “Teaching strategies, teaching tips, curriculum ideas, workshops here are very good.”

But according to one former teacher, there is one issue that should be most important.

Carol Jensen, Former educator: “I think it’s the most serious, under-addressed issue facing our students today in schools, I absolutely do.”

Bullying. A lot has been said about what students should do if faced with a bully, but Carol Jensen says it’s up to adults to stop that behavior.

Carol Jensen: “When you see something happening, you intervene as the adult. But you do it gently. A bully is used to negative behaviors in his life. Don't bully the bully. If you can build a relationship with that student you have a chance to teach that student some new lessons."

And not just in the classroom; Jensen points out teachers need to watch and listen to what's going on in the hallways, the locker rooms, and during recess.

Carol Jensen: “Really it’s the school’s responsibility to protect these students. Bullying is really assault and battery and it’s against the law."

This workshop is aimed at new teachers who may not have experience dealing with bullies.

Susan Sumers, New teacher: “I wanted to see what the problems were and how to deal with them in my classroom.”

Some of the things teachers talked about to prevent bullying include reinforcing even small acts of kindness in the classroom, discuss bullying with the class, supervise unstructured activities like recess, and assign a bully tasks that help others.

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