Springer Public Schools are fighting back against bullying.


Springer Public Schools are fighting back against bullying.

The district is one of 10 pilot schools for the state department of education’s implementation of the “Bully Free Program.”

“In any school district, there is bullying that goes on, so anything we can do to minimize that and get to our main objective — education — is good,” superintendent Matt Holder said.

The program is based on the work of Dr. Allan L. Beane, whose son Curtis was the victim of bullying and eventually died from the repercussions.

“We haven’t had anything happen here. We were aware, but now we are more aware,” counselor Jane Sale said.

It will be worked into the school’s daily curriculum, for example when the social studies class studies Hitler.

“We hope to educate kids. They may not know what (bullying) is,” Holder said.

Age-specific programming is provided for preschool through 12th-grade.

“If we were going to do this, we were going to do it throughout the whole district not a select area,” Holder said.

Role-playing will be utilized to teach the children to identify bullying.

“We want to empower bystanders and let everyone know about bullying,” Sale said.

Another aspect that Springer is looking to implement is the anonymous reporting of bullying.

“We will make it very easy for the kids to report it so they are most comfortable,” Sale said.

To start the implementation of the program, Sale and special education director/assistant principal

Kim Raley will attend three training classes in Oklahoma City.

“He is very passionate about it. It was also very emotional because he shared stories about children and his own son,” Sale said about hearing Beane speak.

Next, Sale and Raley will train a committee who will then help them train the entire faculty, staff and student body.

Committee members are Holder, principal John Mann, elementary teachers Billie Fronterhouse, Janet Batson and Linda Green, and high school teachers Bill Green and Jennifer Williams.

The program is expected to be fully running by the beginning of the 2010-11 school year.

Sale will serve as program director and Raley will serve as program evaluator.

“I’m excited to pretest and post-test to see how far we’ve come,” Raley said.

Part of the evaluations include identifying high risk locations and times of bullying.

“We will make sure there are a lot of smiling teachers to make sure they know we have an anti-bullying policy,” Sale said.

Right now, the teachers are waiting for the curriculum packets to arrive.

“We are thrilled to have this wonderful tool to use before we need it,” Sale said.