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This week’s safe schools snippets

Common Sense Media runs new campaign to curb cyberbullying

When you hear the word “cyberbullying,” the victim and bully come to mind. What about the bystanders? These silent witnesses play a big part in the vicious circle of bullying. That’s why speaking up has never been more important. Take the pledge and watch the video at Common Sense Media.

Emily’s Parade promotes school safety

A parade for both motorcyclists and runners that pays tribute to the memory of Emily Keyes, victim of a school


shooting, raises money, and promotes school safety. The event will be held Sunday, Sept. 25.

The Parade consists of two events: a 45 mile motorcycle ride between Columbine High School, 6201 S. Pierce St., Littleton, and Platte Canyon High School, on U.S. Highway 285 near Bailey, Colo., an annual ritual initiated by riders 10 days after Emily’s death, and a timed 5K run at Platte Canyon in tribute to emergency first responders around the country. Both events are open to the public. Suggested donations and participant sponsorships support The “I Love U Guys” Foundation programs and initiatives.

Online registration for the ride is at http://iloveuguys.org/ride_registration.pl For the ER5K use http://iloveuguys.org/run_registration.pl. At Columbine, gates open at 8 a.m., bikes out at 11:15 a.m. At Platte Canyon, gates open at 9 a.m., runners out at 11:15 a.m. Steve Crenshaw and friends will be playing at Platte Canyon.

More bullying cases have parents turning to courts

Jon Timothy and Tami Carmichael of Cleburne, Texas, are convinced their 13-year-old son Jon’s suicide in March 2010 was the result of daily bullying by peers and the lack of action taken by school officials. Read more in USA Today.

“48 Hours” to air special on bullying in the digital age

Reported by correspondent Tracy Smith, the program airing Friday, Sept. 16 (8 p.m. ET/PT) reveals how the explosion in technology is only making bullying worse, as victims cannot find relief from their tormentors in a 24/7 digital world. The report will have important new information for parents, educators and legislators about how bullying affects children and how to address it. Check out this CBS News report.

Panel finds post-Columbine disciplinary policies criminalize students

Colorado lawmakers and police said Monday that strict disciplinary policies at schools created after the Columbine High School shootings should be scaled back or scrapped and that administrators should have more control over student punishment. Read more in the Washington Post.

N.J. schools brace for anti-bullying rules’ impact

Supporters of New Jersey’s newly amended anti-bullying law say it will create a tough safety net for students who had been afraid to go to school because of continued bullying, even as administrators and others brace for the impact from increased reporting requirements. Read this EdWeek story.

In suburb, battle goes public on bullying of gay students

ANOKA, Minn. — This sprawling suburban school system, much of it within Michele Bachmann’s Congressional district, is caught in the eye of one of the country’s hottest culture wars — how homosexuality should be discussed in the schools. Read more in the New York Times.

Bullying prevention via Shakespeare in Colo. schools

Colorado Shakespeare Festival actors will perform a 17th century play in more than 25 schools from Fort Collins to Trinidad this fall to set the stage for modern-day discussions about school bullying as part of a collaboration between the festival and the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.

From Sept. 20 through Oct. 21, the three-person theater troupe will perform a 50-minute abridged version of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” followed by a post-show talk with the actors and classroom workshops centered on bullying prevention. Participating elementary, middle and high schools will receive a study guide about the play’s contemporary relevance and proven anti-bullying interventions and information from the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence. Read more in this CU press release.

Broomfield police to host school safety presentation

The Broomfield Police Department will host a school safety discussion, “Speaking a Common Language During a School Crisis,” at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Road.

John-Michael Keyes, executive director of the I Love U Guys Foundation, will present the School Safety Standard Response Protocol. The protocol has been adopted by Adams 12 and Boulder Valley school districts, as well as numerous districts across the country.

The I Love U Guys Foundation was created after the shooting at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, in which student Emily Keyes was killed by a gunman. The foundation was named after the last text message she sent to her parents while being held hostage. The Standard Response Protocol was developed by the foundation in collaboration with law enforcement and safety agencies, school administrators, students and teachers.

Topics of the Oct. 4 presentation will include the story and aftermath of the Platte Canyon High School shooting, dispelling the concept that “it can’t happen here,” and a new way to engage in the conversation about school safety. The presentation is ideal for students and families, school administrators and faculty, emergency managers, fire personnel, emergency medical services, law enforcement and public health officials, according to a news release.

For more information, call Broomfield Police public education coordinator Joleen Reefe at 720-887-2084.

University study links school bullying to lack of sleep

A new study suggests not getting enough sleep can get you into trouble — and not just with your doctor.

That was the conclusion of a University of Michigan study published in the journal “Sleep Medicine” last month that suggested children who are bullies are more likely to have sleep problems.

It’s also something Elgin School District U46 officials said they see in schools “all the time.” Read more in the Courier-News.

Psychiatrists prescribe remedies for school bullying

Bullying in school is a process that arises out of toxic group dynamics, not a problem originating with a single troubled person. It may not feel that way when you’ve just been jeered at by one of the stars of the school’s athletic program or the meanest girl in your grade just posted a nasty comment on your Facebook wall, but that is how the American Psychiatric Assn.’s first foray into the subject describes bullying, and it shapes how the nation’s psychiatrists propose to help stamp out the practice. Read more in the Los Angeles Times.

Boulder Valley high schools get concussion help for athletes

Centaurus High School athletic director Paul Roper has started paying more attention to student concussions.

Last school year, he instructed coaches to introduce a gradual return to play for athletes with concussions, starting with exercise and low-impact practices instead of an immediate return to full contact play.

This year, he will have another tool — baseline concussion testing — to help gauge when it’s safe for an athlete to get back in the game. Read more in the Colorado Hometown Weekly.

Elementary student brings live bullets to Boulder school

A student at Boulder’s Foothill Elementary brought two live bullets to school Monday, separating one of the bullets from its casing by hitting it on a rock, according to a letter from the principal sent to parents.

During third-grade recess, the student set off the bullet’s primer while hitting it on the rock, making a loud noise, according to Principal Melissa Ribordy. But the .22-caliber bullet was never fired, and no one was hurt. Read more in the Daily Camera.

Parents and teachers learn valuable info at school safety forum

Since the school shooting at Columbine High School in 1999 and the recent outbreak of reports of kids committing suicide due to bullying, the safety of students has become a concern of utmost importance for parents, teachers and school administrators nationwide. Read more in Our Colorado News.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.