Esko schools seek to prevent bullying

By KBJR News 1

October 30, 2013 Updated Feb 11, 2014 at 1:58 PM CDT

Esko, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Bullying continues to be a significant issue in schools throughout the nation.

Esko school officials say they're doing everything they can to stop the problem.

The Esko school district holds advanced bullying intervention training for staffers grades K through 12, and onWednesday night the district will host a community session that is open to the public.

Teachers say school shouldn't be a scary place, but it often is for kids who are being bullied.

To combat that Esko school leaders brought in a nationally recognized bullying prevention expert on Wednesday to meet with teachers to train them on how to correctly intervene in situations that involve bullying.

Alana Friedman, the bullying prevention trainer, says a very subtle message comes across if people do not intervene in a situation in which someone is getting bullied.

"That message says, 'We don't care what's happening.' And so the intervention says, 'I care about what's happened to you. Let's work on making a plan so this doesn't happen again, let's consequence the kids who are doing the bullying, and let's be sure that you as a target is protected,'" said Friedman.

"At the most fundamental level one of our duties here, and it's one of the most important things that helps in education, is that we're helping our students feel safe and comfortable in their learning environment, and so that's really the big picture," said Greg Hexum, principal of Esko High School.

Wednesday at 7pm Friedman will speak in the Esko High School theater about bullying intervention and prevention.

The forum is open to the public.

Friedman says that she will discuss what to do and how to react if your child is a victim of bullying, a bystander, or if your child is doing the bullying themselves, as well as how important it is to intervene immediately in these types of situations.

Elsa Robins