School pilot program aims to abate bullying

Bullying always has been a tradition of sorts at school, but an increasing number of suicides by the victims in recent years has prompted action from lawmakers and school administrators.

Nevada passed a bullying law in July that creates a state Week of Respect in October to educate students about bullying. The law also created strict guidelines for schools to follow regarding the reporting and investigation of bullying incidents.

One in three students age 12 through 18 is bullied, according to a 2007 study by the U.S. Department of Education.

Clark County School District officials said they are taking the issue seriously and have implemented a pilot program this school year to reduce instances of bullying.

The Operation Respect program will take place at 11 elementary and middle schools. The program will be modified and is expected to expand next school year after the data are analyzed.

The district is implementing new curriculum and classroom strategies at those schools to prevent bullying, said Connie Kratky, coordinator of the district’s Equity and Diversity Education Department.

"We want to deal with it proactively," Kratky said. "Then automatically by the time they get to high school, it cancels that out."

The district sponsors professional development for teachers and will cater training to each school’s different demographics. The message delivered to elementary schoolchildren is unique to that age group, Kratky said.

More information can be found at

The district also works closely with other community groups such as R&R Partners and the Anti-Defamation League, which also run programs to combat bullying. For the past seven years the ADL’s No Place f or Hate program has reached more than 150 schools and 160,000 students.

No Place f or Hate is the umbrella name for all of the ADL’s anti-bullying and anti-bias programs in the county.

While in the program, every student, teacher and administrator signs a resolution of respect. Schools in the program also must select three school wide activities to encourage friendship among students. Schools receive a ceremony and a banner at the end of the year designating the school as a No Place f or Hate zone.

Georgia Neu, project director for No Place f or Hate at the ADL, said some schools’ bullying incidents have decreased by 70 percent.

"What this program does best is it creates a civil climate in the school," Neu said.

The program teaches kids the same vocabulary to identify different aspects of bullying, such as "aggressor," "bystander" and "allies."

The program also uses "oops" when kids realize they’re bullying and "ouch" when someone is being bullied.

"I know it sounds so elementary," Neu said. "But when you say something that is negative to remind them they didn’t do the right thing, the first reaction will be defensiveness. It’s a very simple, little thing. We have a lot of different techniques for helping them become friends."

This year the program is in more than 30 schools at all grade levels, reaching more than 30,000 students.

More information can be found at

The recent hazing incident involving Western High School’s football team prompted administrators to forfeit the remaining games and suspend several players. Neu acknowledged that it was a "painful position" for everyone involved, but she was encouraged by the decision.

"I think it is one of the most profoundly promising things I’ve heard in a long time," Neu said. "I t’s incredibly important, I think, that the school district stood up and said we will not tolerate this.

"I think the spotlight has caused a lot of schools to walk away from the old-fashioned idea that bullying is just part of growing up."

Another resource for students and parents is , a website started by local advertising firm R&R Partners.

The Flip the Script website launched in June and provides a "clearinghouse" of information, said Catherine Levy, director of public affairs for R&R. The website is viewable in Spanish, too.

Levy said the website also is an important resource for parents, who maybe are not as aware as they should be about the issue of bullying.

"What we’ve noticed most is that parents weren’t necessarily aware of all the things they could do to keep an eye on what’s going on," Levy said. "If nothing else, it’s increased awareness that this is an issue that needs to be addressed."

Everyone interviewed said that cyberbullying has become the most vicious form of bullying. It also is the biggest challenge because it’s the one that adults know the least about and because anonymity is so prevalent on the I nternet.

Levy recommends keeping the computer in a public room in the house and being friends with kids on Facebook to at least deter them from such activity.

"Cyberbullying has taken on a life of its own," Levy said. "It’s something that people never expected to have to deal with."

Contact View education reporter Jeff Mosier at or 224-5524.

Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like