Catasauqua Press

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bullying prevention program is presented

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 by mark reccek Special to The Press in Local News

Shelley Keffer, coordinator of student services for the Catasauqua Area School District, presented to the school board the districtwide bullying prevention program at the board’s February meeting.

Keffer told the board the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program was implemented by the district in 2006. The program is a research-based intervention program used with kindergarten through eighth-grade students.

“It’s designed to be positive, proactive and preventive in nature,” she explained. “It’s focused on changing climate and social norms so that bullying isn’t cool and all students are welcome and respected in the school, regardless of individual differences.”

According to Keffer, the school district received a Be Safe and Sound grant through the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) during the 2006-07 academic year. The funds were used to implement the program to highlight the importance of respect, tolerance and responsibility, she said.

The Catasauqua Middle School administration, school psychologist and guidance counselors spearheaded the program, which assists faculty and students with understanding how to stop bullying behaviors and support children who are targeted. Keffer said NCPC permitted the district to expand the program to include Sheckler Elementary School students.

The program, Keffer stressed, is designed for all students and is used in classroom settings and in one-on-one intervention.

“It’s focused on changing school norms and restructuring the school setting. It is research-based, not time-limited,” she told the board.