Click here to view a complete image of this bulletin board.
Forsyth (Missouri) Elementary School wants to be a school that doesn't just talk about being kind and showing compassion. We want to take a stand against bullying: it is not going to be allowed in our school. With that as our goal, the first thing we did was to define bullying:
Bullying is deliberately hurting other people with words and actions.
Next, we introduced our definition at our Monday morning character education assembly. We also introduced our Anti-Bullying Pledge to the PreK-4 students at our school:
I make a COMMITMENT to take a stand against bullying.
I will treat others with RESPECT and KINDNESS.
I will have the COMPASSION to not be a bully
and the COURAGE to not be a bystander.
It is my RESPONSIBILITY to help others being bullied
and to report bullying.
I should mention that this pledge is not original to Forsyth Elementary. Many schools in our area do a terrific job with character education, and we first saw this pledge used at one of those schools, Reeds Spring Elementary.
Students "signed" the pledge and added their handprints with their names to the Anti-Bullying Pledge bulletin board in our main hallway. (The picture above shows just about half the length of the entire bulletin board!) The bulletin board offers a very visual display of how many people are in our school and how everyone has committed to follow the guidelines set forth in our Anti-Bullying Pledge.
If a student behaves inappropriately -- breaks their pledge -- their handprint is removed from the board until the child thinks they can make better decisions about their behavior.
Carol Hawkins, principal, Forsyth Elementary School, Forsyth, Missouri