Arizona Education Association

Spring 2013

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Kyrene Teaches Tolerance with Mix It Up Day Kyrene Education Association (KEA) is confronting the issue of bullying head on. For the past two years the KEA Human and Civil Rights Committee (HCR), chaired by Dondi Caswell and Brenda Mulkey, has worked in partnership with the Kyrene Elementary School District Administration on a district-wide anti-bullying campaign. "This was the second year Kyrene participated in Mix It Up Day as a district initiative," report Caswell and Mulkey. "We were so proud to get 100% of our schools participating!" Mix-It-Up at Lunch Day encourages students to identify, question, and cross social boundaries. Last year, more than half of the schools participated and this year all 25 Kyrene schools took part in activities that promote tolerance and create a welcoming school environment. Below are examples of activities: •A kindergarten and fifth-grade teacher switched places for an hour. This activity showed students that it's good to step out of one's comfort zone. They also demonstrated the idea that all teachers are responsible for all students. •One middle school ordered plastic bracelets in various colors with "Mix It Up Day" printed on them. The tables had colored paper matching the colored bracelets and students sorted themselves based on the color of their bracelet. They got to keep the bracelets as a memento of the day to remind them to keep "mixing it up." •One school sorted students using bingo daubers. •Every school included conversation starters on the tables created by KEA's HCR committee. Kyrene Superintendent David Schauer supported the efforts by setting up a tour schedule for the executive team, accompanying departments, and other district offices to visit other departments so they could mix it up too. Staff in transportation visited those in print shop to chat and learn about each other's responsibilities. Schauer also set up a special dessert hour where they could continue their conversations with their colleagues from other areas. This was a great way to celebrate Mix It Up Day as well Spring.13advo.indd 19 A LOCAL PERSPECTIVE A LOCAL PERSPECTIVE A LOCAL PERSPECTIVE A LOCAL as advance Kyrene's district goal of PERSPECTIVE working together as a team. KEA's HCR committee has orgaA LOCAL nized several anti-bullying events, PERSPECTIVE including No Name Calling Week in January and district-wide anti-bullyA LOCAL ing training for staff. The committee PERSPECTIVE has a goal of getting links on the main page of the Kyrene District website summarizing every A LOCAL anti-bullying initiative listed by school and include a way for students, parents, and staff to PERSPECTIVE report bullying on the website. The committee A LOCAL is also planning on putting monthly bathroom stall fliers with a positive anti-bullying message PERSPECTIVE in staff bathrooms. A LOCAL "Our committee is only in its second year, PERSPECTIVE and we are so proud of what we've accomplished in such a short amount of time," A LOCAL comment Caswell and Mulkey. "We have one PERSPECTIVE of the biggest committees in KEA, and more people want to join all the time. We also have a A LOCAL principal and the district family resource center PERSPECTIVE director on our committee. Many of our committee members are involved in several district A LOCAL committees, but we hear all the time that our PERSPECTIVE committee is their favorite because of how positive the work we do is!" 2 A LOCAL PERSPECTIVE NEA Bully Free: It Starts With Me! A LOCAL Last year the National Education PERSPECTIVE Association (NEA) launched the Bully Free: It Starts With Me campaign to proA LOCAL vide guidance to caring adults in schools PERSPECTIVE and communities nationwide who are willing to stand up and pledge to help A LOCAL bullied students. Bully Free connects PERSPECTIVE bullied students with a caring adult—one on one. These caring adults agree to listen carefully to the bullied student who comes to them and take action to stop the bullying, and NEA provides the adults bullying prevention resources through Bully Free also provides much-needed bullying prevention training for educators. NEA's research shows that public school teachers and education support professionals are ready to act, but many of them lack training in the most effective, research-proven measures to take to prevent bullying. Check out the Bully Free website for guidance and resources on preventing and ending bullying, including 10 Steps to Stop and Prevent Student Bullying and other resources, research, and tools. AEA Advocate x Spring 2013 19 1/29/13 10:53 AM

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