The big buzz around school campuses these days isn’t only about the
budget. Bullying at school and on the Internet was recently cited by
both the President and First Lady, and educators and parents across the
country are taking a new look at what works in bullying prevention, and
Recently, the San Diego County Office of Education and the Chula Vista
Police Department hosted a half-day training focused on research-based
solutions to reduce bullying on school campuses.
“Unfortunately, many students fear that telling an adult will only make
matters worse,” said Mara Madrigal-Weiss, Project Specialist Student
Support Services, SDCOE. “As we’ve seen with several cases, that only
secludes the child who’s being abused and can even lead to suicide.”
Madrigal-Weiss collaborated with Chula Vista Police Department Public
Safety Analyst Melanie Culuko to explain national trends in bullying,
and successful research-based tactics to reduce and prevent it.
According to Culuko, between 30-60% of students are impacted by
bullying. According to Culuko, 21% of students have admitted to
receiving a mean or threatening email or other message.
“Bullying can really affect the learning environment for students,” said
Madrigal-Weiss. ”Students can learn when they’re afraid. It’s important
that teachers and staff intervene when bullying is witnessed.”
Dori Smith, an attendee at the bullying prevention training, said she
was bullied as a child and as a result suffered psychological problems.
Smith, who is now a puppeteer, said, “Growing up as a child who was
bullied, it affected some of the most important years of my life. If
possible, I want to be able to prevent this from happening to children
Said Madrigal-Weiss, “No campus or community is immune to this issue.
Bullying is happening in every district and every campus, and it’s
important that we do our best to prevent it from happening.”
Participating districts included Ramona Unified, San Diego Unified,
Cajon Valley Union, Lemon Grove, Mountain Empire, National, Santee,
Solana Beach and Sweetwater Union High School District.