Dodge Kicks Off New Bully Prevention Program
Twinsburg's Dodge Intermediate School is inviting parents and the community to it's kickoff event on Thursday, Sept. 27
Dodge Intermediate School is joining the ranks of schools across the nation to install a bullying prevention program in its classes.
On Thursday, Sept. 27 the school will have it's Olweus Bullying Prevention Program Kickoff at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium. It's nearly 1,000 students will fill the stands, along with parents and community members, to promote the program.
The program starts at 8:45 a.m.
Dodge started the Olweus program in the 2011-12 school year. Olweus is a national model that restructures the existing school environment in a way that reduces opportunities and rewards for bullying, according to a recent article in the Washington Post.
"We implemented it last year, little by little, and it's proven to be very successful for us," School Counselor Dave Rowbotham said.
Rowbotham is one of the staff members working to implement this new model.
The year-round program is incorporated into the teaching curriculum, he said, helping kids understand bully prevention on a consistent basis.
"You have a lot of people who come in during the year, put on a magic show and when they leave, it's over," Rowbotham said.
He likes the Olweus program for three reasons: It's consistent, it fits into the curriculum and it has a positive view, rather than focusing on consequences.
"Nothing is ever going to eliminate bullying," Rowbotham said. "But it [Olweus] reduces it tremendously."
He has already seen the results of the program, especially with using on-the-spot intervention, or dealing with a bullying situation as soon as it happens.
"The kids have been doing great," he said. "They've been coming to us left and right."
The kick off event was developed to create the "high energy" among the students, and hopefully, unity.
Darnell Sanders, a former Cleveland Browns tight end, will deliver the keynote address. Sanders has multiple family connections with the school district.
Students will also be wearing t-shirts that say "We Are One," as another method of building community. Later in the day the students will go through several stages of team-building exercises.
Principal Barbara Werstler addressed parents about the program in a letter:
Our school is joining hundreds of schools around the countyr and throughout the world that are taking action to stop and prevent bullying. The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is the leading research-based program that has been shown to reduce bullying and make schools safer and a happier place for students to learn and grow.
The school is inviting the entire community, including parents and family members, to attend.
Rowbotham said he wants everyone to know this program is successful and is going to stay.
"We want to show them how serious we are about the prevention of bullying in our school district," Rowbotham said, adding he wants families to take a role in this at home.
There will be three areas for parking: Dodge Intermediate (parking on the grass, weather permitting), Christ Our King Church and the lot behind the field house at the stadium.
For more information contact Dave Rowbotham or Assistant Principal Doug Higham at 330-486-2200.