With Sec. Arne Duncan by President, Brenda Martin
Visit KY-SPIN for Info on Anti-Bullying, Self-Advocacy, Resources, Support, etc!
Parent Involvement Month Proclamation
Our NEKY PTA president attended this awesome program in Frankfort, November 1st! Kentucky Education Commissioner, Terry Holliday, and the First Lady of Kentucky, Jane Beshear, were in attendance along with Kentucky PTA, KYPIRC, FRYSC , and the Kentucky Department of Education for the initial proclamation of November as Parent Involvement Month.
Tips for Being a Great Classroom ParentA class mom or class dad has a direct role in helping a teacher start the school year off right! Whether you’re a first-time classroom parent or a seasoned veteran, a great year for your classroom starts with some advance planning!
Remember, every teacher has different expectations. Some teachers will give you a yearly plan, laying out all the details for you to execute while others will let you run with the ball. Confer with the teacher and determine which style works best for both of you. Then be sure to use the free tools at SignUpGenius.com to make organizing your child’s classroom a snap!
38 Ways for Parents to Get Involved
(Excerpt from Oprah.com)
According to decades of scientific research—including a study from the Department of Education that reviews 30 years of research—parental involvement in the classroom is a key factor in improving students' academic performance. Returning to the classroom and showing up to school translates into your child's overall success.
The Power of Three Hours
Volunteering in the classroom for just three hours over the course of the entire school year is enough to make an impact. In fact, this idea is the foundation of The National Parent-Teacher Association's Three for Me program, encouraging and guiding busy parents through different ways to get involved at their children's schools.
With free online resources, sample forms, promotional fliers and a forum for idea-sharing, Three for Me does a huge part of the time-consuming work for you—all you need to focus on is your child. So, find just three hours over the course of nine months to volunteer in your child's classroom, and you'll be helping set him up for success not just now, but in the future as well.
Get 8 ideas for how you can get involved in the classrooms of younger and older children
and other BLOGs by Myrdin Thompson,
Kentucky Delegate for Mom Congress of Parenting Magazine
Overcoming Obstacles to
To make parents feel more comfortable visiting the school, post Welcome signs in all languages spoken at the school at each entrance and on each classroom door. Create a special place in the school that is set aside especially for parents, such as a parent center.
Not Knowing How to Contribute
Roadblock: Some parents believe they have talents but don’t know whether they are needed or how to contribute them to the school or PTA.
Not Understanding the School SystemRoadblock: Many parents are unfamiliar with the system and therefore do not know what their rights are or how they can become involved.
Parents in Need
Roadblock: Parents without adequate resources often feel overwhelmed.
Roadblock: Child care may not be offered at meetings or school functions.
Roadblock: Parents who don’t speak English may not understand newsletters, fliers, or speakers at meetings
Roadblock: Parents with disabilities may find it difficult or feel uncomfortable attending and contributing at meetings.
Roadblock: Lack of transportation or access to parking at the school keeps parents from visiting or attending school activities.
During our National PTA Convention in June, 2010, and on "Education Nation", Monday, September 27, 2010, Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, announced doubling their investment to $270 million for Parent Engagement programming, fiscal year 2011. He also touted their important partnership with PTA!
A Watch-dog Organization - Advocating for Bullied Children
& Reporting on State Anti Bullying Laws
|Comment: Although the word, "bullying" is not mentioned in the name of this law, it is clearly an anti bullying law. It qualifies for the highest grade possible, an A++ (Note: In red - help for the victim and an internet clause) |
AN ACT relating to the safety, learning, and well-being of students.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
SECTION 1. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 158 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
(1) Any employee of a school or a local board of education who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a school student has been the victim of a violation of any felony offense specified in KRS Chapter 508 committed by another student while on school premises, on school-sponsored transportation, or at a school-sponsored event shall immediately cause an oral or written report to be made to the principal of the school attended by the victim. The principal shall notify the parents, legal guardians, or other persons exercising custodial control or supervision of the student when the student is involved in an incident reportable under this section. The principal shall file with the local school board and the local law enforcement agency or the Department of Kentucky State Police or the county attorney within forty-eight (48) hours of the original report a written report containing:
(a) The names and addresses of the student and his or her parents, legal guardians, or other persons exercising custodial control or supervision;
(2) An agency receiving a report under subsection (1) of this section shall investigate the matter referred to it. The school board and school personnel shall participate in the investigation at the request of the agency.
(3) Anyone acting upon reasonable cause in the making of a report required under this section in good faith shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. Any such participant shall have the same immunity with respect to participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report or action.
(4) Neither the husband-wife nor any professional-client/patient privilege, except the attorney-client and clergy-penitent privilege, shall be a ground for refusing to report under this section or for excluding evidence regarding student harassment, in any judicial proceedings resulting from a report pursuant to this section. This subsection shall also apply in any criminal proceeding in District or Circuit Court regarding student harassment.
Section 2. KRS 158.444 is amended to read as follows:
(2) The Kentucky Department of Education shall:
(3) The Department of Education shall provide the Office of Education Accountability and the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee with an annual statistical report of the number and types of incidents reported under subsection (2)(b) of this section. The report shall include all monthly data and cumulative data for each reporting year. Reportable incidents shall be grouped in the report in the same manner that the reportable incidents are grouped in subsection (2)(b)1. of this section. Data in the report shall be sorted by individual school district, then by individual schools within that district, and then by individual grades within each school. The report shall not contain information personally identifying any student. The reporting period shall be for an academic year, and shall be delivered no later than August 31 of each year.
(4) All personally identifiable student data collected pursuant to subsection (2)(b) of this section shall be subject to the confidentiality provisions of the Kentucky Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, KRS 160.700 to 160.730, and to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. sec. 1232g, and its implementing regulations.
(5) Parents, legal guardians, or other persons exercising custodial control or supervision shall have the right to inspect or challenge the personally identifiable student records as permitted under the Kentucky Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and implementing regulations.
(6) Data collected under this section on an individual student committing an incident reportable under subsection (2)(b)1. of this section shall be placed in the student's disciplinary record.
Section 3. KRS 158.148 is amended to read as follows:
(2) The department shall obtain statewide data on major discipline problems and reasons why students drop out of school. In addition, the department, in collaboration with the Center for School Safety, shall identify successful strategies currently being used in programs in Kentucky and in other states and shall incorporate those strategies into the statewide guidelines and the recommendations under subsection (1) of this section.
(3) Copies of the discipline guidelines shall be distributed to all school districts. The statewide guidelines shall contain broad principles and legal requirements to guide local districts in developing their own discipline code and school councils in the selection of discipline and classroom management techniques under KRS 158.154; and in the development of the district-wide safety plan.
(4) Each local board of education shall be responsible for formulating a code of acceptable behavior and discipline to apply to the students in each school operated by the board. The code shall be updated no less frequently than every two (2) years, with the first update being completed by November 30, 2008.
Section 4. KRS 525.070 is amended to read as follows:
(2) (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, harassment is a violation.
Section 5. KRS 525.080 is amended to read as follows:
(2) Harassing communications is a Class B misdemeanor.
HB 91 (BR 499) - M. Cherry, L. Clark, T. Edmonds, D. Graham, K. Hall, R. Henderson, M. Marzian, R. Palumbo, J. Richards, T. Riner, T. Thompson, R. Webb
AN ACT relating to the safety, learning, and well-being of students.
Amend KRS 158.440 to identify the Golden Rule as the model for improving attitude and the rule for conduct for all public school students; require school districts to have plans, policies, and procedures dealing with measures for assisting students who are engaging in disruptive and disorderly behavior, including harassment, intimidation, or bullying of another student; amend KRS 158.441 to define "harassment, intimidation, or bullying"; allow civil exchange of opinions or debate or cultural practices protected under the state or federal Constitution to be included in areas exempt from definition of "harassment, intimidation, or bullying"; amend KRS 158.148 to require school districts to formulate a code of acceptable behavior and discipline that embraces the Golden Rule as the model for improving attitude and the rule for conduct for students; require the code of acceptable behavior to prohibit harassment, intimidation, or bullying of a student and include procedures for identifying, reporting, investigating, and responding to complaints, a strategy for protecting complainants from retaliation, a process for annually discussing the code and the consequences of violating the code with students and their parents or their legal guardians; require school districts to provide training on the code of acceptable behavior to school employees who have direct contact with students, if funds are available; require district to incorporate information regarding the Golden Rule and the code of acceptable behavior in employee training manual; require school councils that are proposing to adopt an instructional program or curriculum designed to instruct students on issues regarding harassment, intimidation, or bullying to afford parents the right to inspect and review the instructional material and to address the council on the proposal prior to its adoption; offer parents and legal guardians the opportunity to opt out their students from programs or curriculum regarding harassment, intimidation, or bullying; specify that students who are opted out shall remain subject to the policy that prohibits harassment, intimidation, or bullying; amend KRS 158.150 to include the breaking of the Golden Rule through student harassment, intimidation, or bullying as a cause for suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate disciplinary action; amend 158.444 to require local school districts to report to the Kentucky Department of Education all incidents where a student has been disciplined for harassment, intimidation, or bullying three times in a single semester or where an individual has been the object of three or more documented incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying in a single semester; create a new section of KRS 158 to require that all student data collected that is related to harassment, intimidation, or bullying be subject to the confidentiality provisions of both the federal and the Kentucky Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and afford parents the right to inspect or challenge student records as permitted under those provisions; require individual student data collected that is related to harassment, intimidation, or bullying to be placed in the student's disciplinary record; create a new section of KRS 158 to provide immunity to school employees or students from a cause of action for damages arising from reporting in good faith a student's disruptive or disorderly behavior if school and district procedures are followed regarding the report; make technical corrections; identify this Act as The Golden Rule Act.
HB 91 - AMENDMENTS
HFA (1, D. Floyd) - Retain original provisions; require local school districts to provide training to victims of bullying for victim empowerment.
HFA (2, D. Floyd) - Require a local school district to provide information and assistance on how to respond to and avoid instances of bullying to students who have been subjected to bullying.
HFA (3, M. Cherry) - Include cyberbullying in the definition of student harassment, intimidation, or bullying; include electronic communication as a method of student harassment, intimidation, cyberbullying, or bullying.
SCS/LM/CI - Replace provisions of the bill with the following: Create a new section of KRS Chapter 158 to require school personnel to report incidents of student offenses under KRS Chapter 508, criminal harassment, or harassing communications to law enforcement, with a requirement that the incident be investigated; amend KRS 158.444 to create a data collection system for the reporting of incidents of student offenses under KRS Chapter 508, criminal harassment, or harassing communications, with monthly reporting of the number and types of incidents reported; amend KRS 158.148 to require updating of student discipline codes to include material relating the taking, reporting, or investigation of complaints of student offenses under KRS Chapter 508, criminal harassment, or harassing communications, with provision for the protection of complainants and the distribution to the updated provisions of the code to students, parents, and school personnel; amend KRS 525.070 relating to harassment to prohibit certain activity when done by a student; amend KRS 525.080 relating to harassing communication to prohibit certain activity when done by a student.
CCR - Cannot agree.
FCCR - Create a new section of KRS Chapter 158 to require school personnel to report incidents of student felony offenses under KRS Chapter 508 to law enforcement and parents of students involved; amend KRS 158.444 to require a local school district to include in its statewide data report all incidents in which a student has been disciplined by the school for a serious offense, including the nature of the offense, and all incidents in which a student has been charged criminally for any offense identified in KRS Chapter 508 or in Section 4 of this Act that occurred on school premises, on the school bus, or at school functions; require the Kentucky Department of Education to submit to the Office of Education Accountability and the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Committee an annual statistical report, rather than a monthly statistical report, to include the number and types of incidents of violence or assault against school employees and students, possession of guns or other deadly weapons on school property or at school functions, and possession or use of alcohol, prescription drugs, or controlled substances on school property or at school functions; require the annual statistical report to include monthly data and cumulative data for the reporting year; set the reporting period as an academic year, delivered by August 31 of each year; amend KRS 158.148 to require the Kentucky Department of Education, in consultation with various professional agencies, to develop or update as needed, a model policy to be distributed to schools by August 31 of each even-numbered year, beginning August 31, 2008; amend KRS 525.070 to identify specific activities done by a student as harassment; amend KRS 525.080 to identify specific activities done by a student as harassing communication.
Jan 8-introduced in House
A mother from Alabama writes: "Our daughter attends a local public school. We had a difficult time with bullies in first grade late last year. The majority of the problem was with two kids terrorizing or ganging up together (a brother and sister) against our 6-year-old on the bus. It started with one of them grabbing her lunch bag and literally helping themselves to whatever they felt like taking from our daughter, whether it was her lunch, snacks, drinks, milk money, etc. Our daughter would not speak up or tell me at all. It went on for a while until she became physically ill and a nurse called me from school. We went outside and talked and I immediately went back to her classroom and talked to her teacher, the boy's teacher, the nurses and then the principal. She handled it immediately by calling the parents while we were in the office. The children went to the time-out room, and I requested my daughter's bus seat be changed and moved closer to the driver. This worked, combined with telling my daughter over and over how wrong it was and that she needed to speak up and tell someone immediately.
"Some advice to other parents: A. Take the time and talk to your kids every day and ask how their day goes and really pay attention. I had no clue until my daughter complained of stomach aches and started requesting I drive her to school. It was very unlike her. B. Don't approach the bullies yourself or get on the bus. Let the school reach out to the parents and go from there. This is the first thing that I learned besides teaching myself to breathe properly again. Do talk to and inform your child's teacher, the nurses and the bullies' teacher. C. Do coach your kids how wrong it is to be picked on and that they aren't doing anything wrong by seeking out their teacher, a counselor, the principal and/or you. They need to understand they are the victim, they are not tattling or being the 'trouble maker' as our daughter thought. D. I bought some books on bullying and donated two copies to the school. I bought extras for us and we read them frequently at home. I also believe that kids have to be taught how to talk nice and be a friend.
"What our school is doing: We have a new principal this year. The school has mini-seminars about bullying, respect, etc. for the kids. But this year our school made up a contract between the school and the students, for each and every student to read and sign. The parents have to read and sign it as well and return it to the schools office. It has a lot of points and good information, but in general, the contract states good behavior will be expected and demanded at all times during the school day. It talks about respect towards the school, the teacher and classmates. The kids must keep their hands and feet to themselves at all times. It talks about misbehavior on a bus may lead to punishment, including suspension and expulsion from school. We have a list of the bus rules. The school's policy handbook was very thick this year and informative. Also, what goes hand-in-hand are the school's motto: "The three R's = respectful, responsible and resourceful." The motto and definitions are on a form and all of the kids had to sign this form and return it to school."
The Illinois mother of a seventh-grade boy writes, "I am currently involved in stopping bullying behaviors that are directed at my son. Last year, in his 6th grade year, he was being bullied and I did not know. He had constant headaches, wanted to stay home often, did not want to walk home from school (6 blocks away) and I did not put the scenario together. I took him to the doctor for headaches and thought he just did not want to walk home. When I discovered this year that he was being bullied last year, I was hurt. I felt like I was not a good parent and that my husband should have caught the signs. This year I am not the same mother. There is a bullying prevention program called Olweus that the school has adopted. But no matter how great the program, the child must be willing to tell. Children have a code of silence that is developed through fear and not wanting to tattle. My son is telling me what is going on this time and I have him report it to the teacher. I follow that conversation up because some teachers will drop the ball. I have the assistant principal involved and if it is not resolved immediately, I will involve the principal and then the legal system (press charges) if needed. Our children should not be victimized at school. Schools must have a safe, nurturing, educational environment. Sometimes I wonder at outbreaks of violence in schools around the country and what could have happened differently if the parents were more involved in their children's lives, not only at home, but in school also. How do you stop a bully? It has to be a joint collaboration between parents and the school."
Implement a school-wide anti-bullying program:
A school official from Texas writes, "This month of October we are kicking off with the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program were all school staff will be trained on how to deal with bullying and it will be awesome as to how we will present it to the teachers, parents, and the students. We are seeing a lot of bullying in our sixth graders and we now are realizing how important it is to begin dealing with this issue. Our second step is to do a school-wide survey to see how many student at one point in their lives have been bullied."
"My children have been bullied, from being talked to rudely to being pushed down the stairs at school. I think the only satisfactory action is to out the bully, reporting them to the teacher or administration. If the school does not discipline the student then I would take my child out of school. My children have all attended private and public schools and private schools do not allow rudeness, children are taught to treat each other with respect as their teachers model. This has not always been the case in public school, but so far the children have been disciplined satisfactorily."
"I am a parent of a 12 year old and a nine year old. Both my children asked me to be yard duty at lunch because of the bullying taking place and I was stunned by some behavior I witnessed. One boy was pulling down a girl's sweats - he likes her and this was his way of showing it. This is bullying. The typical forms of bullying are more common - excluding or labeling. I took the approach of asking the bully if they knew what they were doing, if they were aware of how their actions made the other child feel. This question has worked really, really well. Many kids aren't aware they are "being a bully" and once it's pointed out to them a light bulb seemed to turn on. No one wants to be a bully but perhaps they don't realize they fell into a pattern of bullying to get their way."
A mom from Mississippi writes, "My daughter had a problem with being one as a three-year-old and has also been the victim. We developed a solution mantra we call My Three Options: Talk, Walk, and Tell the Teacher. Talk: Talk to your friend, tell them you don't like what they are doing or you would want them to do something else like share a toy or let you know when they are ready to give someone else a turn, etc. Walk: If talking doesn't work, walk away from the situation/person, find something else to do, someone/something else to play with, etc. Tell the Teacher: If talking and walking do not work, if the person is insistent on giving you a hard time, following you when you walk away, etc. then you get an adult who has some authority involved.
"Every morning my daughter and I talk about what it means to behave or be good in terms of following the classroom/school rules and using her three options and I have seen vast improvements in her behavior at school and in her enjoyment of school. Sometimes we role play too, making funny voices and faces and saying do we talk like this...no. We also have several words and actions clearly identified as unacceptable regardless of the perpetrator such as 'stupid', 'shut up', spitting, and getting in others' personal space whether with our hands or feet or face."
A mom from New Jersey writes, "I believe that the whole community is responsible for our children. It is obvious that parents and caregivers are primarily responsible for raising children, however, the community is also responsible for their care and well being.
When parents and caregivers along with teachers and coaches and members of the community, all come together in a basic philosophy to "reach out and connect" with our children we are all one step ahead of the game. The more people that know the child and show the child that there are people who know them and care about them, the more children will reach out for help, victims and more importantly, the bully himself."
A parent of a 6-year-old writes, "I have a second-grader who was being bullied the first week she started school (this is a new school for her and the young lady that did the bullying). My daughter is well versed in this kind of situation because this is not the first time something like this has happened. She knew to report the problem to her teacher and to the teacher of the little lady that was causing the problem. When that didn't work, because teachers seem to never believe the kids at first, I just went to the school and did as my daughter had previously done. I also let the "bully" see my face and know that I was aware of the situation, without saying, and we haven't had a problem since. I think that a parent's presence, at least at the elementary school level, can scare off a bully in some instances. It seemed to help when the other kid realized that my daughter was not alone."
A licensed school counselor from New Mexico offers this advice: " have found that how the victim acts is a critical factor as to whether the victim continues to get bullied or not. A lot of victims I have helped have tended to be the youngest or smallest in their family or class or for their age. Some have been the biggest or tallest or have some feature that other kids will pick on. As a result the victim may attempt to hide, be less noticeable, walk more slowly, cower, hide under his/her hoodie. Sadly such behaviors often only entice bullying further.
"One of the best defenses against bullying is the one-liner. The trick is in the delivery. For instance if the victim delivers a one-liner without immediately walking away, he/she leaves him/herself open for verbal intimidation. This can attract attention which inevitably leads to people taking sides and an escalation of the situation. A one-liner is something that puts the responsibility back on the one initiating the confrontation, e. g., the victim says "Gee, I'm sorry you are having a really bad day today!" or "What a waste of a good brain!" If the victim can deliver this brief message, immediately walk away with head held high, the bully is usually too surprised or confused to immediately react.
"Bullies are usually victims of bullying themselves, i.e., from older siblings. Encouraging kids to have healthy personal boundaries is the first step to reduce bullying. Educating kids how to communicate appropriately, effectively and respectfully is something school staff and family can do. Ultimately kids need to know that whatever they are feeling, they can confide in a safe environment and trust that someone cares enough to pay attention to what they are saying."