The Lester Vaughan School isn’t letting up in the fight against bullying. And, at its launch of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Programme this morning, acting principal Sonja Goodridge vowed to continue serving and, especially, protecting her students against this plague.
Goodridge urged students, assembled in the hall of the Cane Garden in St Thomas school, whenever they saw a case of bullying to report it.
“On behalf of all staff, we promise we will continue to take your reports seriously, offer you support, and deal swiftly with the offenders.
“I applaud the child who recently wrote me a note, and I applaud those who report what you see when you see me on the corridors. More of you need to report. So students I urge you to get off the sidelines and get in the game. Since effort is the best indicator of interest, don’t be bystanders; but be defenders,” she said.
The principal added: “. . . It is important that we realize such behaviours [as bullying] have far-reaching consequences. If we see ourselves as one community, one family, we would not want to cause hurt or pain. Therefore, I encourage all of us to employ the golden rule and treat others how we would want to be treated. Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.
“Children before you speak, think. Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind?”
As part of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Programme is the Web-based tracking software through which children may anonymously report incidents of bullying, and Goodridge encouraged her pupils to embrace and utilize the online tool.
She added: “Staff, parents, as adults, our support is critical to such a program. All of us must get on board to see the positive results it can offer. Proverbs notes that we should train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. The onus is therefore on us to produce civic-minded and responsible citizens of which this country can be proud.
“This is not a short-term solution, but rather a long-term, whole school solution, as together –– students, staff and parents –– we seek to be able to totally declare the Lester Vaughan School a No Bullying Zone,” Goodridge said.
Public relations officer of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association, Donna Sealy, affirmed the PTA’s commitment to the initiative.
Lester Vaughan was said to be the first school to conduct the bullying prevention programme survey, and to have its entire staff trained in the initiative.
Supreme Counselling For Personal Development, which hosted today’s event, proceeds to Grantley Adams Secondary tomorrow, and to Wesley Hall Infants’ on Friday.