Specific ideas discussed to address bullying at school

Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

Three suggestions to reduce bullying and improve discipline practices at Loleta Elementary School were presented last week and will be considered for adoption at a school board meeting in the near future.

The Loleta Local Organizing Committee spokeswoman Celia Campos said the three recommendations will "make the biggest positive impact for the lowest cost -- both in time and money."

The first recommendation calls on Loleta Elementary School to purchase the Positive Behavior Intervention Supports program. This is a school-wide discipline system that includes proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate school behaviors to create more positive school environments. "There is significant interest among the staff (at Loleta Elementary) to adopt this program," Campos said. Teachers and staff are not just trained and then left on their own, they receive ongoing support to implement the program.

The second recommendation was for Loleta Elementary School to develop and adopt a code of conduct. Developing a code of conduct is a process involving the students at the school in creating an environment they want to see. "Research shows that when all students contribute to developing a school-wide code of conduct, they have a greater buy-in and desire to adhere to the code," said Evangelina Herrera Martinez, another LOC representative.

The third recommendation would incorporate a "settle up" process for when the code of conduct is broken. This process would focus on accountability, relationships, and respect, not punishment, offering students choices with some limits for solving problems.

The LOC requested that these three recommendations be placed on the next school board meeting agenda as action items.

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Marcelina Mejia de Castillo (at podium) told the Loleta Elementary School Board that the Local Organizing Committee is very interested in having a productive and respectful working relationship with school officials, with the ultimate goal of making improvements to the school and the lives of the students. Also pictured are Ed Ramos Tutor of the Bear River Rancheria (left) and Evangelina Herrera Martinez.