As psychologist Stephen Leff tells it, solutions to bullying in schools start at home.
Leff, co-director of the Violence Prevention Initiative at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, spoke during an anti-bullying workshop at District headquarters Monday. The workshop provided parents with practical tips and information on how to recognize bullying, support children who have been bullied, and work with schools in dealing with this issue.
“If you take one thing away from here today, it’s communicating with your kids," said Leff, also an associate professor of clinical psychology in pediatrics at CHOP. "The most important thing is to know what really happened [in school].”
by Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks
In college, and for a brief time in the NFL, it was Chief Inspector Carl Holmes' job to protect the quarterback from being flattened into the gridiron grass.
Since joining the Philadelphia Police Department, the former offensive lineman has helpled tackle street crime, spending most of his two-plus decades on the force in patrol and narcotics.
This is a reprint of an article that originally appeared at Education Week.
by Ross Brenneman
A great deal of what's widely considered (or derided) as "education reform" over the last decade reflects a philosophy espoused by former President George W. Bush, in what is now a well-known piece of education rhetoric: Overcoming "the soft bigotry of low expectations." The thought is that a school can make its students achieve regardless of extenuating circumstances, and it drives policies ranging from teacher evaluation to accountability.
On the other hand, many push ideas that engage students on every front, from counseling to nutrition to anti-drug campaigns, under the belief that there are nonacademic reasons that students might not become proficient at math and reading.
Brickyard. Dogtown. Haines Street. Somerville.
For thousands of teens in Northwest Philadelphia, the names signify a potent mix of neighborhood loyalty, turf rivalry, and gang conflict that has been passed down for generations.
Take Dayton Melton.
The 15-year-old hails from Brickyard, in lower Germantown.
Melton says he’s fought kids from Somerville, on the other side of Chew Avenue, dozens of times.
After years of youth organizing groups making arguments against the District’s “zero-tolerance” policy, members of the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools achieved a victory in August.
The School Reform Commission voted to adopt a new student code of conduct, which gives principals more authority to handle disciplinary cases and puts more emphasis on intervention and prevention rather than punishment.
Briana Jackson said her life changed when Mastery Charter took over Gratz High School a year ago.
The self-described former troublemaker, now a senior, said that the transformation isn't yet complete; she still gets detentions now and then. But the person who was regularly suspended has turned into a serious student, athlete and student-government member with her sights set on attending Howard University and becoming a nurse.
The Notebook has a content-sharing agreement with Education Week, where this piece originally appeared. Last week, the School Reform Commission revised the District's Student Code of Conduct to prohibit the use of out-of-school suspension for several low-level offenses.
The School Reform Commission voted Thursday evening to adopt a revised code of conduct that gives principals more discretion in handling disciplinary cases and prevents some infractions from being punished by out-of-school suspensions.
Incoming Superintendent William Hite told a roomful of school leaders at the District's annual leadership summit Monday morning that enforcement of rules is just one piece of school discipline and that "zero tolerance" to him means "a preventive set of strategies," rather than a punishment tool.