DONALDSONVILLE — Bullying and how to stop it was the primary focus of the Ascension Parish school district’s Students and Safety First Committee meeting on Tuesday.
Committee members watched a portion of the online education that teachers and other school staff are required to take on how to recognize, stop and prevent bullying.
They learned that one in three students report being afraid of being hurt or bothered at school and that the highest number of bullying incidents occurs near school grounds at 3 p.m.
Schools can stop bullying by “building a culture of positive behavior, intervention and support” and actively campaigning against bullying, according to the online material.
In the Ascension Parish School District, complaints of bullying are thoroughly investigated, said Cynthia Romar, a guidance counselor at Lowery Middle School.
When bullying has occurred, actions include counseling, class schedule changes, “stay-away” agreements, school-site changes and suspension, she said.
Committee members also learned that the nonprofit organization Innocent Eyes, dedicated to fighting cyberbullying and Internet predators, is available to provide information to Ascension Parish middle school and high school students, arming them against potential online dangers.
The organization was formed by former special agents with the Louisiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Board member Robin Delaney asked that the school district make sure that an anti-bullying flier, distributed earlier this year, is sent out again to students and parents.
The flier provides three anonymous ways to report school bullying: by calling (225) 344-7867, clicking on the anonymous tip screen at crimestoppersbr.com or texting cs225, plus the message, to 274637.