Local school has new strategy to stop bullies
AVONDALE, Ohio (WKRC) - More than one out of every five students report being bullied, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.
The definition of bullying in the study is everything from being made fun of to pushing and shoving.
There is a school in Cincinnati where bullying is rare and stopped before it happens.
It starts as soon as students walk through the doors at Rockdale Academy in Avondale. "Hey handsome, good morning glad you're here,” said Rockdale Academy Principal Belinda Tubbs-Wallace.
The morning messages have to do with love and the power to be good. "They say lovely. I say phenomenal, wonderful. They say lovely something about love that conquers all,” said Principal Wallace.
Tanika Cobb 's daughter is new at Rockdale. "Every morning, they tell kids they’re special, smart…. to love one another… togetherness… they talk about bullying every morning,” said Tanika Cobb, a mother of a Rockdale student. "They love one another like brother and sister here."
"Be respectful. Be a problem solver. Be safe,” said the third-graders before class.
Respect and kindness are more than words, they’re part of a culture at Rockdale. "I will not bully. l will not leave anyone out. I will help others being bullied,” said the students.
That is what students say before third-grade math class. "The end of bullying begins with me,” said the students.
"At Rockdale, we don't tolerate it, if someone gets bullied we help them,” said Michael Nixson, a third-grader at Rockdale.
Students seem to understand the psychology behind bullying. "If you are bullying someone, you don't like yourself,” said Jamiya Wiggins, a student at Rockdale.
"We have little sayings, ‘tell before it swells’, we reward students who tell, start with small things, mean looks and put-downs, stop it so it doesn't swell into something else,” said Principal Tubbs-Wallace.
The government bullying study says more than half of bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes and that's what these peer patrols are about.
"I might see bigger kids picking on little kids. I might confront [them], then I might go to a higher power,” said Asa Midell, a sixth grader at Rockdale.
Conflicts may end up in Ms. McPherson's Positive Culture Office, where students are encouraged to use their words to work things out.
"Your feelings hurt. It's okay, I promise we'll fix this. Why don't you like her?” said Ms. McPherson to a pair of students.
Principal Belinda Tubbs Wallace says some bullying incidents happen with the new students, who need a minute to catch the vibe of “Rockdale Pride.”