Tonya Papanikolas ReportingSeven schools in the Davis School District have undergone training to try to "bully-proof" their schools. Today, one elementary school in South Weber participated in the training.
Staff members at South Weber Elementary School are role-playing a bullying situation. While some kids may stick up for a victim, others join in or refuse to get involved. Our February Eyewitness News investigation showed adults don't always intervene, either.
Fae VanUitert, School Counselor, South Weber Elementary: "Sometimes you're not really sure whether they're just playing a game or whether they're having fun, or whether someone's being really hurt."
That's why the principal of South Weber believed her staff could benefit from training.
Marilyn Hales, Principal, South Weber Elementary: "We want to make sure that there isn't someone who says, you know, I really need to do something about this bullying. But I don't know what to do."
So the school spent today discussing why bullying occurs.
"In our little group, we decided it was some insecurities, jealousies."
They identified victims of bullying.
"Popular kids, unpopular kids, slower learners, fast learners."
And were instructed to get in groups to see how it felt when someone was left out. Most of all, employees were encouraged to take action against bullying.
Teachers in the classroom don't always see the bullying, so South Weber Elementary is making sure to train everyone, from playground monitors to bus drivers.
David Norager, Bus Driver, South Weber Elementary: "There is fighting and bullying going on. In my own experience I have girls that can be just as violent as boys on the bus."
Nancy Hilton, Lunchroom & Playground Monitor, South Weber Elementary: "In the lunchroom, I had one child who constantly took another child's food. Or another child that poured milk in that child's food."
Employees say they are learning to be aware of the different ways kids bully, and with the whole school involved they hope to put an end to a disturbing trend. Once school starts, the teachers at South Weber Elementary will talk with the kids every week about bullying. They want to encourage students to take the side of the victim and tell an adult when they see a situation breaking out.