Kansas schools honor anti-bullying awareness week

FILE(Charlie Riedel | AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 1:54 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Schools across the Sunflower State are observing Kansas Anti-Bullying Awareness Week during the first week of October.

“By resolution, the Kansas Senate and the Kansas State Board of Education have declared the first full week in October Anti-Bullying Awareness Week,” said Kent Reed, an education program consultant, counseling and social-emotional character development, for the Kansas State Department of Education’s Career, Standards and Assessment Services team. “In the past, we have selected a theme, but our experience is that the local school districts prefer to select their own.”

The KSDE said it has also partnered with the Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Children’s Service League and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to create the Choose Peace poster. It said the poster lists relevant phone numbers and a QR code for students to use to report acts of school violence, acts of bullying or suspicious activity. Those resources are as follows:

  • Kansas School Safety Hotline (threats of school violence): (877) 626-8203.
  • Parent and Youth Resource Hotline (acts of bullying): (800) CHILDREN.
  • Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) (QR code available on the poster): https://www.kbi.ks.gov/sar.

The Department indicated that the 2022 Communities that Care Survey - which is held annually and anonymously with 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th graders - found that 27.7% of respondents had been bullied at least once during the past month. At least 52% reported they had seen someone being bullied and more than 20% said they had been bullied at school at least once a month.

The KSDE also noted that the survey found more than 33% of students reported that when they saw bullying at school, an adult stopped it and solved the problem.

Nationally, the KSDE said about 20% of students between the ages of 12 to 18 have experienced bullying. It said students in ninth through 12th-grade experience bullying in various places at school - in the hallway or stairwell (43.4%), in the classroom (42.1%), in the cafeteria (26.8%), outside on school grounds (21.9%) and in the bathroom or locker room (12.1%).

“Parents, school staff and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment and creating a communitywide bullying prevention strategy,” the website states.

For more information about Kansas Anti-Bullying Awareness Week, click HERE.