Addressing Bullying in District 65
April 4, 2019
Dear District 65 Families -
I hope that everyone enjoyed spring break and is refreshed and ready for the remaining months of the school year. Recently, several concerns have been raised about bullying. We recognize the real and lasting impact that bullying can have on students and will never condone actions that have the potential to cause physical or emotional harm. We further recognize that until a child has their physical needs met, which includes feeling safe, they will not be able to engage in learning. For these reasons, we are committed to continuing to address issues of bullying to ensure that all children feel safe, welcome, and ready to learn.
In District 65, we have taken the lead in shifting our disciplinary measures from punitive to restorative actions in an effort to build relationships, enhance school climate, and to work towards eliminating the school-to-prison pipeline. With the passing of Senate Bill 100, the State of Illinois followed suit in requiring all school districts take a more proactive approach to student discipline by eliminating zero-tolerance policies and limiting suspensions and expulsions. We believe strongly in supporting and engaging all students involved - allowing them to process and learn from what happened. While we use a variety of tools to support this learning, it will not take place by blaming or shaming the victim.
We are in the process of updating our student discipline policy to reflect our commitment to restorative measures as a way to enhance overall school climate. We must work as a team to ensure that all members of our community feel heard, feel safe, and that the development of positive relationships is at the forefront. Our educators and school administrators are the first point of contact for students and families as incidents occur. District leaders will continue to support school administrators in handling situations, as needed. Principals will follow up with their respective school communities to share how issues of bullying are addressed, an overview of restorative measures, and available resources.
Please continue to talk to your children daily to find out about their days and encourage them to talk to their teacher or a trusted adult if they feel they are experiencing bullying. Parents and caregivers play a critical role in both preventing and addressing bullying with their children as noted in this helpful resource. Thank you for your continued support of our students and our schools.
Superintendent of Schools