Nov 13, 2013 8:51 PM by Matt Prichard

Controversial school program takes on bullying

For some, bullying is a reality of every day school life. But one Colorado school is looking to change that with a program that encourages some traits of bullying.

"I was very clear with them, that we could not taunt or tease those children, we were just going to ignore them. So this wasn't an opportunity for them to bully," said James Madison Charter School Principal, Dr. Anne Shearer-Shineman.

For one week 4th, 5th, and 6th graders were set into groups, with those wearing stickers ignored by their fellow classmates. And although it may sound a little different, Dr. Shearer-Shineman feels it's effective.

"We've had great success in the past with it changing behavior, because the kids understand and realize what they're doing, so they're more likely to change their behavior," said Dr. Shearer-Shineman.

But some parents aren't sold on the program.

"Bullying isn't right and it is a big problem, but you're never going to get rid of bullying completely in the schools. And if they're trying to teach a lesson, this is definitely not the way to go about it," sand Joanna Meyers, a concerned James Madison Charter School parent.

Meyers pulled her child out of school for the week, and says that she's beyond livid that anyone thought this was appropriate.

"They're forcing this separated behavior on the kids, and thinking that it's going to be a solution," said Meyers.

Despite those concerns, Dr. Shearer-Shineman says the program is only meant to build the mission of the school.

"Our priority here is to just make sure that we enforce that culture of respect and kindness throughout the building and expect that everyone respects and acts it out every single day," said Dr. Shearer-Shineman.

Principal Shearer-Shineman also added that the exercise is only used during recess and lunchtime hours, in hopes of not interrupting classroom activity.


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