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Millburn Schools Tackle Bullying

The district's 'Week of Respect' not only educates students about respecting others but helps with their own character development to prevent bullying.

The Millburn School District wants its students to be aware of bullying and how to prevent it.

This week, there are a series of events to educate students, at all grade levels, about bullying and the effect it has on others.

Part of the program encourages students to analyze their own actions and personal character, said Superintendent Dr. James Crisfield.

"The week is introspective [for each student] to perceive the type of person you want to be," Crisfield said. "And then make sure your actions match up with that."

At Millburn High School, students will hear morning announcements that include stories in the news about bullying, to educate students using real-life experiences. Banners that encourage respect will be displayed throughout the school.

 "This helps highlight what actions do," Crisfield said. "It helps students be part of the solution, not the problem."

Students at the middle school will decorate their classrooms doors to educate on a number of topics. Each grade has a different topic:

  • 6th grade: Being A Good Online Citizen
  • 7th grade: Knowing Who You Are: Identify character words that support respect.
  • 8th grade: Being a good role model

The middle school also has a Wall of Respect outside the auditorium that reflects the ideals of the students and faculty of the school. Peer leaders will help students to make sure the key focus is respect. Full scheduled for middle school is attached as a PDF.

Crisfield described the week as, "a nice compliment to the state's attention to anti-bullying and district emphasis on character education."

Activities taking place at Elementary Schools:

Activities at Deerfield School:

  • Series of anti-bullying lessons in the classrooms.
  • Also in conjunction with the Week of Respect, Deerfield will hold its annual field day for grades 3 and 4, which will have a respect theme.  The activities for that day will all be cooperative activities and the first letters of the titles of the activities spell out the words "RESPECT ALL." 

Activities at Hartshorn School:

  • Hartshorn students will be writing down random acts of kindness they have done on note cards, which will be collected in the office and entered into a raffle.  
  • Individual classes are doing read-alouds about respect/tolerance and activities related to building a community such as community sharing circles.

Activities at Wyoming School:

  • On Friday Sept. 28 there will be a respect rally.  All students will sing “The Respect Song”,  take a pledge, and will receive a respect card.
  • Each day, children will hear a book read about honesty and have classroom discussions about what it means to be honest.
  • Each day the "Honesty" song will be sung and a short biography of a person known for being honest (i.e. Abe Lincoln) will be shared in morning announcements.
  • Wyoming School will recognize students for being honesty by giving out "Caught Being Honest" awards throughout the week.

Activities at South Mountain School:

  • The assembly on Oct. 4 will be led by Millburn Police Sgt. Rich. He will be talking about being a good citizen, respecting others, and exhibiting positive actions.
  • A large respect banner will be created for our week of respect. All students will be able to put their hand-prints on the banner, and will sign their names.
  • In classrooms there will be individual lessons and discussions occurring in the classes regarding tattling versus telling, identifying bullies, the bullied, and bystanders, and other related conversations.
  • South Mountain will also continue to hand out Superstar Bracelets, for those students who are "caught" going good things and positive acts.
  • The Principal will be making announcements about our "South Mountain Superstars." During lunchtime and recess, He will also be leading discussions on respect. Each classroom has discussed what respect means to them and came up with a phrase, motto or sentence. The class comments are up on a "Respect Board" in the hallway. The Principal will be using these "mottos" as a part of his lunch-room discussions.
James October 03, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Its great they are doing this but education starts at home. What are they doing about the attitude on Millburnites that feel superior because they live in a wealthy town. Their children have already adopted this attitude. Its hard to change what youngsters learn at home at a young impressionable age.
Kalani Thielen October 03, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Thanks for demonstrating bullying behavior James. Notice, kids, the common tactic of assuming that you're taking a position that you haven't actually taken. It doesn't matter whether or not you're proud of your town, or whether that pride is arrogant or contemptuous -- that doesn't really matter to James; he's just aiming to insult you.
Milke Millburn October 06, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Wow after watching this news story, I feel Dr. Crisfield should attend some anti-bullying seminars. Hypocrisy at its best. http://landing.newsinc.com/shared/video.html?freewheel=91044&sitesection=wpix_landing&VID=23833376
C Saxl October 10, 2012 at 04:46 PM
We as parents do need to look at our own actions, as primary role models, and be sure to demonstrate the values we want to truly teach our own children. Little ears are always listening. We all make mistakes, but kindness and respect for all others should always shine through. Kudos to the schools for hopefully backing up these attitudes.

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