For Immediate Release
October 25, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Kansas Schools to Participate in Bullying Prevention Training

Media Availability: November 1, 12:30 p.m., Washburn Institute of Technology

Fifteen Kansas schools will participate in a bullying prevention initiative being offered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) during the 2010/2011 academic year.

KDHE selected the Steps to Respect program, a comprehensive bullying prevention curriculum to implement in these schools. 

“Bullying is a problem that affects many children,” said Roderick Bremby, KDHE Secretary.  “The great thing about the Steps to Respect Program is it’s a comprehensive approach that brings together both the school staff and parents to better reach our children.”

This research-based curriculum teaches 3rd – 6th grade students to recognize, refuse and report bullying and build friendship skills.  The program also focuses on helping schools develop a school-wide framework to address bullying and includes both school staff and parents in the training to ensure everyone has the skills to respond to and help prevent bullying.  This initiative is funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Grant and the Preventive Health Block Grant awarded to KDHE.

“We are honored to have had the Steps to Respect program chosen for the Kansas Bullying Prevention Initiative,” says Joan Cole Duffell, executive director of Committee for Children, the nonprofit organization that developed the research-based anti-bullying program. “It’s also exciting to know that these selected schools applied for the opportunity to implement the program—this tells us that they are likely to embrace the work of bullying prevention wholeheartedly.”

KDHE sought applications from schools for this initiative and the first 15 schools that met the requirements were selected.  Requirements include:  implementing all components of the Steps to Respect program including an all staff training, coaching (responder) training, curriculum implementation training, parent training and implementing the program between November and the end of the 2010/2011 academic year.

The following schools participating include: Erie Elementary School, Erie; Kingman Elementary School, Kingman; St. Mark’s School, Colwich; Country View Elementary, Winfield; Most Pure Heart of Mary School, Topeka; Hoxie Community Schools, Hoxie; Holy Spirit Catholic School, Goddard; West Indianola Elementary School, Topeka; Rochester Elementary School, Topeka; Riverton Elementary, Riverton; Stafford Elementary/Middle School, Stafford; Roosevelt Elementary School, McPherson; Lakeside Elementary and Middle School, Cawker City; Trego Grade School, WaKeeney; and Mt. Hope School, Haven.

“We are excited to provide this opportunity for Kansas schools to address bullying,” said Laurie Hart, KDHE Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator.  “Bullying affects students’ mental and physical health and can affect academic success.”

The initial Steps to Respect training for participating schools will be held November 1-2 at the Washburn Institute of Technology, 5724 SW Huntoon St, Topeka. Note: A media availability session will be held November 1 at 12:30 p.m. prior to the start of the training. Representatives from the Committee for Children and participating schools will be available. Following the media availability session, media are welcome to stay for the training which will begin at 1 p.m.

The Committee for Children is a Seattle-based nonprofit that is the world’s leading provider of educational programs that teach skills to prevent violence, sexual abuse and bullying. Today, Committee for Children is helping more than 9 million students in 25,000 schools in 26 countries around the globe stay safe, respect themselves and others, succeed in school today, and build a better world tomorrow. To learn more, go to www.preventbullying.org