The Issue of School Bullying

Upward: Our Head of School's Blog
Recently, I was discussing the subject of bullying and social aggression with a number of school leaders here in Colorado. All agreed that there is a great deal of anxiety in their school communities about perceptions that students were being bullied on their watch. Many shared their personal frustration and even confusion as to what actually constituted bullying in the 21st century. Have kids changed? Are parents overly sensitive? Are schools remiss or dismissive of the subject? There was no consensus, except acknowledgment of the need for clarity and a common belief that safety and security–physical AND emotional–is a school’s most important responsibility.

VMS has very deliberately and carefully created an opportunity for faculty, students, and parents to examine this provocative issue with the hope of gaining clarity and beginning constructive dialogue on an emotionally charged subject. Signe Whitson, a nationally recognized expert in the field of bullying, will be on campus March 3-5. Ms. Whitson’s work focuses on examining this inherently emotional issue from a data driven perspective and her seminars are designed to provide real and practical advice for professionals, parents, and children about how to respond to bullying.

I urge all interested parents to take the opportunity to hear Signe speak at one of the two open sessions, which will be presentations followed by a general Q&A. In addition, parents may schedule 1-on-1 meetings with Ms. Whitson to discuss specific situations or concerns that they may have. Parents are also invited to a reception in the Common from 8-8:30 am before the Tuesday and Wednesday programs.
  • Tue. March 4; 8:30-10:00 am; program for parents of grades 6-12 & administration
  • Wed. March 5: 8:30-10:00 am; program for parents of grades K-5 & administration
  • Wed. March 5: 12:30-3:00 pm; 1-on-1 meetings open to parents of all grades, please schedule in advance by contacting Julie Schlossinger.
One of the hallmarks of Vail Mountain School is our community–one that celebrates individual success and supports individual struggle. At the core has always been and remains to this day, a commitment to ensuring that each individual feels secure, loved, and supported so that they may find their passion and thrive.

–Mike