The first day of this school year, all of Stroudsburg High Schoolai??i??s teachers were required to discuss the topic of bullying and the districtai??i??s bullying policy with each of their classes.
Was this the result of a rise in bullying? No. The impetus was that the SASD administration revised the bullying policy over the summer. This was not for any reason in particular; policies are frequently updated.
According to the districtai??i??s official policy on bullying, ai???each student shall be responsible to respect the rights of others and to ensure an atmosphere free from bullying.ai???
The SHS administration believes that having the teachers address bullying with their students could make a positive impact. Students will become more aware that bullying is a problem, they will learn how and where to report a concern, and they will also understand that such behavior will not be tolerated.
Is bullying a serious concern at the SHS? According to both guidance counselor Ms. Theresa Onody and SHS principal Mr. Jeffrey Sodl, bullying is seldom reported at the high school. Ai??It is more common at the lower grade levels.
At the high school, a majority of the time, reports of bullying turn out to be a misunderstandings or harassment.
ai???People bully to get control of something in their life, and no one should be afraid to report it,ai??? said Onody.
Recently, cyberbullying has become a more common issue. Ai??With more and more students using technology at the high school, the opportunities to cyberbully have significantly increased.
ai???Itai??i??s easier to hide behind a computer screen than being face to face with a person and seeing their reaction,ai??? said Onody.
While this is a concern, the administration does not want to deny students access to their devices.
ai???I want you to enjoy school while you are here, and phones are a big part of your life.ai??? said Sodl.
The one important message that Sodl would like to get across is the administration cannot do anything about bullying unless itai??i??s reported. When it is, the administration acts on it swiftly, according to Sodl.
Bullying can be anonymously reported by placing notes in the lunch money drop off box. Bullying can be reported to a teacher or counselor, who will notify administration.
Students are urged not to hesitate to report any concerns they might have.
ai???Students need to know that everything they tell us is confidential,ai??? said Sodl.