Schools work to balance emotions of bully and victim
The Columbia Public Schools District works to balance the emotions of both victims of bullying and the actual bully itself.
The district trains its teachers to be a listener for bullying victims and their perpetrators.
"Even if it doesn't meet the threshold of the bullying definition so to speak how can they continue to be a listener and a safe place for that student. Every student deserves to go to school feeling safe so how can we continue to work with our educators in building to be that safe person for a student," CPS Chief Equity Officer Carla London said.
London said it is important their teachers are trained to be listeners for students because students must feel safe enough to return to school.
"It's imperative because they will come to the building. That is their job to come to school everyday and we want them to come to that job happy, healthy, and ready to be successful in that learning environment. It is imperative that we repair that harm so that the student can feel safe," London said.
CPS also works to repair the relationship between the bully and victim to minimize conflict later on at school.
"One of the tools we use are restorative practices which is really creating a safe environment which is 80 percent saying we're a community environment and a safe school or classroom community and then 20 percent of that restorative practice is how can you repair harm when harm has been done," London said.
London also said the restorative practices mean bringing together the students to show the bully the impact of the behavior in order to repair the harm.