District-Wide Anti-Bullying Coordinator

Sharon Staszak
sharon.staszak@motsd.org
973-691-4008 x8415

Mt. View Anti-Bullying Specialist Kathryn Devins
kathryn.devins@motsd.org
973-927-2201 x1306

HIB Grades are issued each year and posted to our website (see downloaded report below).

Though the grades issued each year are reviewed, we work throughout the year with our HIB Committee, Safety Committee, staff, Safety Patrol members, Safety Patrol Advisors and District Administrators to review procedures and policies.  These are incorporated into programs and activities to address HIB and related issues.  As new, thought-provoking HIB videos, activities and written materials are vetted, they are shared with staff, students and parents.

We know that HIB reports are in the news each day.  Judgements of what is an HIB incident are not usually fully vetted due to the primary mission of the media.  There are a number of state or federal guidelines that are prescribed and in the venue of school districts, promulgated into Board of Education Policy.  There are also regulations developed by administrators.  When a report is made regarding HIB, the report is the perception of the reporter (who may also be the victim).  As the administrative investigation unfolds, the categorization of the incident is determined.   The process is confidential with protections provided for all parties. 

As the old saying goes "There is no dime so thin that there's not two sides."  While the reporter might see the incident as one sided, open and shut, etc.; administrators must look at all information, interview all parties involved and make certain that consistent/fair procedures are being followed.  The process and resultant decision are reviewed by Central Office staff to ensure consistent building implementation.

The three general categories that provide structure to the labeling of behaviors when someone is not working and playing well with others are:  Conflict, Alleged HIB Report, Confirmed HIB Report. In schools across the USA, conflict is unquestionably the most frequently reported category.  The conflicts on the playground or other places may rest there, though an allegation of HIB will bring more attention. 

When an alleged HIB incident is reported, the administrative process begins. Then (following research) a decision will be made that will be communicated to the reporter of:  Victim of HIB, Not HIB, perpetrator of HIB, not Perpetrator of HIB. 

Our hope remains that positive behavior is a daily focus.  We have informally surveyed current and past students, staff and parents (in additon to reviewing reports) to analyze "from whence" any of the three reports might emanate. 

The top three physical locations where reports originate are in unstructured areas where there is supervision but clearly more "student interaction freedom".  They are:  on the bus; on the recess playground; in the cafeteria. 

On the bus 

Numbers of bus riders are small.   Our attendance area has approximately 6 buses that transport students...we are a "walking school"...other schools in MO have a majority of bus riders.

Three "Transportation Related Information" items are important to remember: 

                 1 Students ride on buses with siblings and neighbors...not strangers.  Problems seldom develop in the 10-15 minutes of riding on the bus but do manifest there, just as they can in cars with parents and friends...as we all know. 

                  2. MO buses are equipped with voice and picture video cameras that greatly assist administration in processing HIB allegations.

                  3.  All Drivers (and Aides) have yearly HIB Training.  They report any HIB issues to the administration. 

On the recess playground  FYI in the companion Section to "MVS HIB" is "Dr.Fischel" section that contains "Playground, Recess and Positive Behaviors," which will also give you good information.

We seek genuine, authentic playground and PE activities so students can participate with friends and classmates as they will, on a grander scale, later in life.  In life, as adults and in the "backyard play of children", we are self-regulated and self-monitored.  Few of us have professional referees when we play sports.  Our recess activites are the same.  In all of our Recess activities, a "Conflict Corner" is set up and is the primary vehicle for conflict resolution.  Students are responsible for this resolution.  Usually a student will ask "Do you wanna play or do you wanna argue?"  The game is, typically, resumed quickly with a "do-over" or replay of the point.  Sports that allow Trash Talking as part of play are not supportive of this concept.  We do not support that behavior in our PE classes nor on the playground. 

Playground Conflict usually occurs not with sports or activity involvement but with students waiting in line or not participating but rather spending time in teasing others, etc..  Our playground has activites set up with a high (number) ratio of supervisor to student--roughly the same as in the classroom (1:25).  Our supervisors carry a walkie talkie for communication with the nurse, MV ABS, Administration, and each other..including caft to recess and vice versa.There is always an adult close by if a kid needs help. 

  We believe that students should not sit on the side and watch.  Most of the Recess activities do not require a student to be asked/ask to join a team;  but rather to participate in a group. We do have bench seating on the playground and in hot weather, it is welcomed by some.  MV staff, FPTA and the MOBOE have diligently worked to provide equipment and activities for students so that all can simultaneously participate in playground activities. Our playground equipment (stations for over 60 students) is state of the art, and will expand with 12 Swing stations in 2018-19. 

Additionally, MV has a 40x60 multisport court used to feature many activities (e.g. 4 square, GAGA Ball, jump rope, volleyball, etc) to support the playground equipment.  With roughly 70 students per grade level, there should be no reason to stand around talking.

Students who are not involved in activity are more apt to get into talking conflicts..."Just PLAY--that's why we have recess" is a good guideline.

In the cafeteria

The MV cafeteria is typically half used for "eating seating."  A grade level is at recess while another grade level is at lunch. Students are assigned to seating with their classmates by their homeroom teacher.  Students can sit at Peanut free tables in the cafeteria.  Seating assignments can be adjusted.  Though positive re-assignment (Mix-It up Day, etc) of seating is practiced, students who have conflicts may be reassigned for short or longer terms to separate students or as a consequence. 

Student days, typically, contain both snack and lunch times and while it seems impossible to many adults...22 minutes is more than enough time to eat...with the balance spent in conversation.  We maintain a ratio of roughly 1:25 supervisors to students; not including aides.   The supervisors walk the area helping students "start" oranges, by opening packages of food and ensuring safe eating conditions exist.  A student who has an issue with a student that they cannot resolve using various techniques taught by the Counselor, should report this to the Supervisors.

Want to watch a Burger King hamburger be bullied? Paste into your browser https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnKPEsbTo9s

HIB Grades 2015-2016 Download

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