Promote Respect is how our school division educates parents, staff and students about bullying prevention. It is a year-long program that focuses on proactive and positive interventions to teach expectations of respect and provides opportunities for students to practice those skills and make it a part of their daily routine.
The program uses consistent language to identify what respect looks like and sounds like, starting with the description of respect of self, respect of property and respect between peers and generations. It also outlines procedures to report, investigate and intervene when bullying behavior occurs.
Bullying is defined as any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and target; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma. Bullying includes cyber bullying. Bullying does not include ordinary teasing, horseplay, argument or peer conflict.
Reports about potential bullying incidents can come from multiple sources including students, teachers, administrators, counselors and family members. Reports can be made in person or anonymously using a paper or electronic report form. Reporters are encouraged — but not required — to identify themselves so staff can conduct the appropriate follow up. Every school has two adults identified as leads for Promote Respect. These school-based adults ensure the systems and practices are in place to address bullying concerns. When a report is made, designated adults are alerted and follow a protocol to investigate and remediate the concern.
Promote Respect was developed using research-based practices and it fulfills the state mandate requiring each school board to implement policy and procedures to educate stakeholders about bullying to create a respectful school climate free of bullying. Staff receive proactive training in ways to prevent and intervene in bullying situations and students are educated about preventing and reporting bullying behavior. Each school has a Promote Respect committee that works to reinforce the program within their school throughout the year. Schools continuously monitor data and assess areas of need in order to make any needed changes to promote positive school climates.