Duluth school drums up bullying awareness

By KBJR News 1

April 11, 2014 Updated Apr 11, 2014 at 2:39 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The morning school announcements are pretty standard no matter what the school.

That is until you walk into Mrs. Darwin's 5th grade class at Lowell Elementary where students take a seat and pull up a drum.

"It's a circle of respect. It's a circle of equalness and allows everyone to see each others faces," said Jerry Maki, principal of Lowell Elementary.

It's a morning routine letting students work together while sharing a common focus.

"Nothing is hidden. Everything is out there," Maki said.

Across the hall, in another classroom students gather for a morning meeting.

"If there's an issue, or an idea, that someone wants to share, the morning meeting is the perfect place to do it."

It's these types of routines that school leaders say lead to a safer environment.

In fact, 100 percent of Lowell's 5th graders agree their school is safe.

"Our schools are working hard to be safe and welcoming," said Ron Lake, the Duluth School District's climate coordinator.

Lake says the Safe & Supportive Schools Act can only help improve upon his district's policies.

"The more direction we can receive, and the more we can approach an important issue and common direction across the state, the better."

For now, students in Mrs. Darwin's 5th grade class will keep the beat going in support of each other.

The Safe & Supportive Schools Act will go into effect starting next school year.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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