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Former guidance counselor offers advice for victims of bullying

• Jul 1, 2017 at 6:00 PM

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter to the editor was submitted by Donald Klausing of Norwalk.

Having been a former guidance counselor, may I offer some food for thought to the person who is being bullied.

There is a support network team at your disposal within the school setting and the general public. For example, teachers want to help. Guidance counselors want to serve as a liaison. The principal has your best interests in mind. Law enforcement is on guard for your safety, welfare and well-being, which is of utmost importance to all parties. They don’t want to see you get hurt. They definitely do not want you to harm yourself in any way.

Here’s how I engineered this process at the Main Street School under the auspices of Principal Kirk Pavelich, teachers, etc.

An A.P.B. bulletin was sent to all school personnel to raise awareness and be on the lookout for any “red flags” such as insults, negativism, threats, etc., with the suggestion that none of these behaviors should ever be ignored or minimized because severe problems could result. These should be dealt with immediately, perhaps with a referral to the guidance counselor for further assessment.

Once the referral has been initiated, a round table session is organized with the victim, the bully, parents, teachers in the know, perhaps the principal, and law enforcement if necessary. The crux of the matter is delivered with possible repercussions and consequences leading to charges from other parties. The critical stance of this type of activity is detailed so there are no surprises.

All involved have a part in speaking in the exchange of solutions. It is understood that there is to be no further infractions in the hallway, on the playground, on the bus, and all other public places. The guilty parties are told they are a reflection of the Main Street School, which promotes consideration for all students.

Bullying is NOT an option and is treated as a no tolerance behavior.

Random checks will be made to prevent further incidences by the guidance counselor. Law enforcement is brought in as required for a stricter control. The random checks were usually sufficient enough to prevent further altercations. In a short period of time, positive results prevailed.

None of this can happen unless the victim of bullying reaches out to those who can help before tragedy occurs.

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