Step Up, Stop Bullying: Schools Take Proactive Approach

BENTONVILLE, AR-- Schools across Northwest Arkansas are taking the battle against bullying to another level. In Bentonville, the district is making some changes to its policy.

Bullying in schools is an issue that can change a child's life forever or even the life of a teacher. The Bentonville School District is making moves by being proactive with their policy.

Bentonville Student Services director, Brad Reed, said "Does bullying go on in our schools? yes. yes it does."

Bullying is occuring in schools nation-wide and the Bentonville School District is prepared to deal with the issue-- in and out of the classroom.

Reed believes bullying takes on new form in 2014 "we are forced in society and in schools to address it and in different ways because of the electronic age that we live in it's done with a lot more hatred it's done with a lot more negative feeling toward people and it does a lot more damage now."

The district added an addendum to the policy they already have in place. Reed says cyberbulling is not only happening to kids, but teachers and staff too. "Before this we didn't have any meat in terms of what could happen or could happen to one of our employees and now we have that in our policy."

Ashley Williams, principal at Mary Mae Jones Elementary School, says bullying often happens more than once.

Williams said, "Research does show that bullying can have lasting effects on individuals, especially their self esteem.

Reed said protecting staff and students is their job and this addition will help them fulfill that role. "We've done a good thing. We've done a positive thing not putting up with bullying with our students and with our staff."

Reports of bullying at school should be reported to the principal or district superintendant.

Springdale, Fayetteville, and Rogers school districts also have anti-bullying policies in place. To view those, you can visit school district web sites.

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