SchoolMessenger White Paper Offers Practical Steps to Address Bullying and Safety in Schools
SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — To help school leaders address safety issues related to bullying, sexual harassment and other concerns on campus, SchoolMessenger, the leading provider of communication solutions for education, today released a white paper entitled, “Creating a Culture of Dialogue: Practical Steps for Better Communication and Safer Schools.” To download, visit: http://schoolmessenger.com/resources/culture .
The free, downloadable white paper offers administrators suggestions for creating a culture in which students feel comfortable ‘speaking up’ about school safety and personal issues, and explains how to successfully involve them in the communication process. It offers four practical steps schools can take to break the ‘code of silence’ that exists in their school community, and make students more willing to ask for guidance and alert adults to problems before they escalate.
“We believe the most effective intelligence in schools comes from the students themselves,” said Carter B. Myers, vice president of Anonymous Communication Solutions at SchoolMessenger. “When given the encouragement to report problems, and the tools to do so confidentially and discretely, experience has shown that they will do the right thing and speak up to adults. Our white paper outlines the steps administrators can take to foster that dialogue and create a culture of open communications, which is proven to lead to a dramatic reduction in bullying and other threats.”
Four steps for creating a culture of dialogue include:
- Define the Issue – Identify the problems most prevalent on campus and within social networking circles and realize that students may be well aware of subtle or under-the-radar issues that may only surface if adults are willing to listen.
- Change How Problems are Recognized – Look beyond traditional visual or audio cues, such as fighting or injuries, and place more value on understanding the environments in which students interact socially, such as text messaging, email and social networks.
- Establish Realistic Methods for Reporting – Create an environment in which students feel empowered to speak up and discuss their problems and concerns. They must be encouraged to report problems, and have easy access to tools to do so safely, without fear of embarrassment or reprisal from their peers.
- Develop Methods for Measuring Data – Create a process in which data gathered from students can help define the nature and type of problems that surface at any given school. Reporting can help schools allocate resources to most effectively deal with problems that are simmering today, or that are on the horizon but not yet visible to administrators.
The whitepaper also includes guidance for funding supportive programs to foster dialogue, reduce bullying and improve campus safety.
SchoolMessenger offers the Talk About It® anonymous communication service that allows students to ‘speak up’ by engaging in text message or email dialogue with trusted school staff members. To learn more, visit http://talk.schoolmessenger.com.
SchoolMessenger is a leading provider of communication solutions for education. Thousands of school districts, public schools, colleges, universities, private schools and other educational facilities in all 50 states depend on the company’s innovative solutions, including the SchoolMessenger notification service and Talk About It anonymous communication service. Founded in 1999, the company is headquartered in Santa Cruz, California. For information, visit http://www.schoolmessenger.com or call 888.527.5225.
SchoolMessenger Public Relations