Guam – Over the past several weeks the issues of Bullying and harassment within Guam’s public schools have become a concern. Now The Judiciary of Guam and the Department of Education are working together to implement a program to stop bullying in our island schools.
The Judiciary of Guam in collaboration with the Department of Education held a workshop on Wednesday for parents involving two national programs, Play By The Rules and One Nation alcohol free today at the Westin Resort. The goal of this free workshop was to meaningfully involve parents in the education of their children. Play by the rules Guam Coordinator Joleen Respicio says both Play by the rules and One nation alcohol free educates the public on two different topics.
Respicio says, Play by the rules is basically about Guam laws. We teach Character and civic education and we teach Guam specific laws to kids and that includes the underage drinking law which One Nation Alcohol free, that’s what their campaign is, getting that message out to the community.
Wednesday’s work shop also addressed Bullying taken place with in Guam’s schools. Respicio says is an issue that we need to look at in a holistic manner. She says this is becoming a more pervasive problem because of the social media and the real time connections people have over the internet, such as cyber bullying. Respicio says Play By The Rules will be working closely with the Department of Education to implement a research and evidence base bullying prevention program in the island schools and community.
Respicio says,” We are not just going to teach teachers to teach students something. Its a program realy that extends over the entire school community. So we are going to teach teachers, students, administrators, parents of students , parent teacher organizations and will have a bullying preventive task force so we can address this together because that’s really what the community needs.
Respicio says its important for all of us as a community to make sure we understand the correct signs and attack the problem. According to Respicio, an actual Bullying incident triggered the 1999 Columbine High School Tragedy.
Respicio says, “The student went on a killing spree , a killing rampage at his school because he was acting out on all the aggression for the way the other students treated him or again just as a result of bullying and so what bulliers may perceive as something light or harmless, is actually something deeper and meaningful to these students.
Respicio says more than a decade has past since that incident and bullying continues to be an issue nation wide and in our community. She says its important to have a Guam holistic approach to address bullying and to have a Guam Bullying Campaign. She says these programs will address bullying not only for students but also for adults.