When Ron Barber and his family created the Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding, they wanted to tackle the issue of bullying.
In August 2011, the volunteer Anti-Bullying Task Force began meeting monthly to discuss how to address bullying in our schools and in the workplace. Its members include educators from local school districts, leaders from social service agencies, physicians and community volunteers.
The Task Force created several subcommittees with the following goals: create the endofbullying.com website; focus on anti-bullying programs in schools; launch a Public Service Announcement competition for youth; and reach out to pediatricians so they could ask children if they feel safe at school and provide those who don’t with anti-bullying resources.
In just a few months, much has been accomplished. The endofbullying.com website is launched! Task Force member Dr. Sheri Bauman, head of the master’s school counseling program at University of Arizona and anti-bullying expert, has graciously volunteered to give presentations to local schools. By the end of 2011, she had reached more than 300 educators and support staff citywide.
In her presentations, she helps administrators, teachers and support staff learn how to detect bullying, how to address it and how to prevent it from happening. She has also participated in anti-bullying forum for parents at a Tucson High School event and conducted a two-hour training session for Tucson Unified School District crossing guards and Ethnic Studies staff members. She has many more presentations planned in 2012, including a full-day program for teachers at Tucson High School in January 2012.
Dr. Bauman also is working with the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind, providing trainings for its staff in Tucson and Phoenix, who are working to translate anti-bullying materials into Braille and ASL. In addition, she is conducting research supported by the Fund at a local independent school, Imago Dei, to investigate the cognitive and moral components of middle school bullying.
We will be launching a Public Service Announcement competition soon for youth. Stay tuned! And we are creating materials for pediatricians to help children who are being bullied at school.
The task force is led by co-chairs, Jenny Douglas, director of Second Street Children’s School, and Ann-Eve Pedersen, president of the Arizona Education Parent Network.
Contact us if you are interested in learning more or becoming involved.