The University School Implements World Renowned Bullying Prevention Program

The University School Implements World Renowned Bullying Prevention Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 11, 2012

The University School, a private, licensed college preparatory school in Shadyside, Pennsylvania is taking a proactive stance to ensuring a safe, accepting learning environment by adopting the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP), a research-based school-wide “systems change” program, has been implemented successfully in schools worldwide with positive results and documented outcomes.

This program is not a curriculum that students participate in for a few short weeks. Rather, it is a coordinated effort by all adults in the school building to supervise students and intervene when they witness bullying or when alleged incidents are reported to them.

As part of the program, students participate in weekly classroom meetings to learn about the effects of bullying, how to identify, prevent, and process incidents of bullying, and how they can work with adults to stop bullying situations, even as bystanders. Parents and caregivers are afforded the opportunity to meet, too, to ensure consistency and promotion the school’s anti-bullying message to their loved ones.

The committee has received instruction from and continues to consult with an OBPP Nationally Certified Trainer, Sharon Greene, from AERI Behavioral Health Services.

The University School held its kickoff event on Friday, September 7, 2012 from 9am until noon. Families were invited to join students to review the school’s recently adopted anti-bullying policies and procedures, and to launch the students’ first art project with local artist Tina Brewer of the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

“It was a great day. The students expressed that they feel very comfortable here at (The University School) because students can be who they want to be here and no one will bother them. It is a very safe environment and has always been” says Francine Liscotti, Administrative Assistant and member of the school’s OBPP Coordinating Committee.

The students and Ms. Brewer are creating a quilt with an anti-bullying theme as part of their commitment to maintaining a supportive, safe school environment and upholding the integrity of the OBPP model.

“The University School has a history of providing an individualized and safe teaching environment for diverse learners. Students come to this school for a number of reasons – and often one of those is to feel accepted. At The University School, differences are embraced, talents are cultivated, and students, then, can realize their goals, achieve academic excellence, and become the person they aspire to be. By implementing the OBPP, we extend our commitment to ensuring that students who attend The University School are in a safe environment that is conducive to learning and maximizing one’s potential,”says Catherine Hughes, a member of the school’s OBPP Coordinating Committee, and also the parent of a student with exceptionalities.

CONTACT: Francine Liscotti, Administrative Assistant

By: Francine Liscotti

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