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.


About Vail Mountain School

Founded in 1962, Vail Mountain School is a K-12, coed, independent school in Vail, Colorado. Our philosophy is to provide a demanding, college preparatory, liberal arts education in an atmosphere of mutual respect between faculty and students, where nurturing a healthy self-concept and stimulating academic inquiry are parallel objectives. Intentionally designed cross-age programs promote role modeling, responsibility, self confidence, and a sense of community. Our location in the Rocky Mountains allows us to integrate the outdoors into the academic and cultural fabric of the school through hut trips, all-school Ski Fridays, and other experiential learning opportunities. The result: our graduates possess a quiet confidence that serves them well in college and in life—confidence to assert themselves in their first college level essays; to raise their hand in a class of hundreds; to live on their own for the first time, to meet with and engage their professors; and to lead among their peers.