The Student Community Council at Holualoa Elementary School recently took proactive steps to prevent bullying in response to a schoolwide survey seeking parental input on important issues.
After students received an antibullying lesson in the classroom, a letter was sent home to parents, along with the same PowerPoint the children learned at school and a kindess pact.
According to school counselor Kealoha Curnin-Medina, education includes understanding that “bullying is taken seriously. It’s not just a part of growing up or something to be taken lightly.” Children are taught to tell the bully to stop, to walk away and talk to a teacher or adult about the situation.
Parent volunteer Shawna Johnson coordinated the education that went home to parents. She researched the issue of bullying at a national level. After learning of a group called Rachel’s Challenge, which formed in memory of one of the students who was killed in the Columbine High School shooting, Johnson drafted a kindness pact for students to sign with their parents.
Between staff at Holualoa, community members and Johnson, the information was translated into Chinese (Mandarin), Vietnamese and Spanish.
Students and their parents signed the pact. The same students signed an “I am kind” poster. Students were rewarded for returning their kindness pact with a snack.