MEDFORD, Ore. — Medford students are using new techniques to prevent bullying and those techniques are getting the school recognized.
Washington Elementary is considered an “exemplary school” for how its staff members implement anti-bullying strategies.
Paul Messenger is the school’s Positive Behavior Coach. He works with students every day teaching what he calls “recess school.” It’s focused on preparing kids to have a healthy experience in and out of the classroom, on the playground, in the cafeteria and in the halls.
The coach says many times the bullies act out because they don’t have the social skills necessary to make friends. If children at Washington Elementary are bullied the behavior coach says they implement the “toolbox technique.”
“Those tools could look like, counting to ten, taking deep breaths, walking away, talking to a friend, sharing with an adult, some of the older kids really enjoy drawing or writing,” explained Messenger.
Every month at Washington Elementary the students gather for a positive behavior assembly, recognizing students and setting goals for the week. The rest of the week students work in small groups and on an individual basis with the positive behavior coach. The principal says the program has been so successful suspensions are down 85%. That success is what is putting the school on the map.
Next week, the school’s behavior coach and principal will present at the Northwest Positive Behavior Intervention Support Conference next week. At the conference they’ll teach other school officials in the state about their techniques and how other schools can see the same success.