Northbridge Public Schools takes bullying very seriously and has a comprehensive plan for bullying prevention. Our plan includes student and staff education, reporting, investigation of incidents, and review of reports and outcomes to improve our response to bullying incidents.
At Northbridge Elementary School (NES) and Balmer Elementary School, the Second Step curriculum is used. Bullying education for students includes recognizing bullying, reporting bullying to a caring adult, saying “no” to bullying when it begins to happen, and being a bystander who stands up to the bully and protects the person being bullied. At Northbridge Middle School and Northbridge High School, lessons on bullying are part of the health curriculum. At the middle school, there is at least one unit on bullying each year, as well as technology lessons on cyberbullying. The high school health curriculum includes lessons on bullying and cyberbullying in both tenth and eleventh grades. Bullying is also reviewed during class meetings at the beginning of the school year at the high school. Faculty and staff in Northbridge receive bullying education each year, including how to recognize bullying and when and how to report it.
Bullying Reports may be filed by students, parents/guardians, and faculty and staff. The Bullying Report is available online and may be filed with either the Principal or Assistant Principal at each school. When a Bullying Report is filed, the Administrator begins an investigation which includes interviewing the identified aggressor and target, and any witnesses. Evidence will be reviewed. Parents of both the identified aggressor and target are contacted. If bullying is confirmed, consequences are given out and a safety plan is developed. Follow-up is done with both the aggressor and target after two weeks.
Copies of all Bullying Reports are forwarded to the Superintendent for her review. The Bullying Prevention Committee meets during the year to review all Bullying Reports and to make recommendations for faculty, staff and administration follow-up and future education.
The Wellness Committee has met and reviewed all of the Bullying Survey results. In light of these results, plans have been made to purchase the movie Bully and show it to each student in the Middle and High Schools. In subsequent years, the movie will be part of the Health Curriculum in fifth and ninth grades. A parent night to view the Bully movie will be scheduled at the beginning of the school year. Bullying will be reviewed in depth with students at the beginning of the school year. Professional Development on Safety Planning is planned for Administration and Faculty.
Northbridge Public Schools continues to evaluate and work to improve our response to all reports of bullying. We welcome input and questions from parents. Please feel free to contact Administrators at your child’s school with and questions or concerns about bullying.