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Lisbon BOE member addresses bullying

November 13, 2012
Salem News

To the editor:

I have been on the Lisbon School Board for almost 15 years. During that time the level of responsibility that has been transferred from parents to schools is unprecedented. We as a society now rely on our educators to do much more than teach our children, our expectations are much greater. We require them to be counselors, case workers, and care givers. It's clear to me why we ask so much from our teachers. They are dedicated professionals with the desire to teach. Teachers are some of the best and brightest people in our community of course we would entrust them with our most precious possession.

When I was in school the rule was if you got bullied, that's part of life, either stand up for yourself or suffer in silence. That was wrong. That meant that the weak or different had no hope and were sentenced to a miserable school experience.

That's not the culture in Lisbon Schools these days. Now we teach the students the right way to stand up for themselves and the right way to treat others. Our district has established an excellent learning environment that is focused on nurturing young people and keeping them safe.

Several years ago we instituted the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. This program has been successfully implemented in hundreds of schools. It is designed to improve peer relations and make schools safer more positive places for students to learn and develop. It teaches young people to look out for each other and to treat everyone with respect and to help those who can't help themselves.

Our teachers and administrators care about the students, they encourage children to tell an adult when they feel threatened. They discourage name calling and model appropriate behavior for our students. They promote community service and pride in our older students.

We work hard to educate our students and keep them safe. However this responsibility is one that we share with the parents of our students. The message has to be taught at home as well as at school. There is no excuse for bullying. There is no excuse for physical violence. Parents and teachers need to work together to make our community a better place.

Lisbon School District is better now than it has ever been. We are an excellent district with dedicated teachers and administrators that work together to provide our children a quality education in a safe learning environment. This past Friday I attended the dedication ceremony for the War Memorial at the football stadium. Even though it was the end of the day over two hundred students stood quietly, paid attention, and showed respect for our Veterans during the ceremony. The people of Lisbon can be proud of our school facilities and the staff and students that are in them every day.





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