Teachers address bullying

The Newtonite

by Samantha Libraty
Beginning in September, a new anti-bullying curriculum will be incorporated throughout the school year in accordance with the new anti-bullying laws passed in Massachusetts, according to Brenda Keegan, a former English department head at this school and former deputy superintendent.
Keegan, guidance department head Beth Swederskas, Newton Partnership curriculum specialist Iris Leigh and other teachers have chosen a curriculum to keep up with new state legislature, she said.
The curriculum, which is called Bully-Proofing Your School, will allow students and faculty to learn and be aware of bullying situations, Keegan said at Tuesday’s faculty meeting.
There will be four days during the school year where there will be extended homeroom. Ideally, two teachers will be assigned to a homeroom to conduct a lesson plan from the Bully-Proofing Your School workbook, Swederskas said.
Also, two or three physical education classes will be committed to anti-bullying lessons for all grades each year, Swederskas added.
Each teacher will also give one anti-bullying lesson to one assigned grade level during class time, Swederskas said.
For example, seniors would have an anti-bullying lesson during a math class, while juniors would have a lesson during one history class.
“We tried to incorporate the lesson plans so that there wouldn’t be too much class time lost,” Keegan said.
“The curriculum will be done this way so that everybody participates.
“Also, so that not one teacher, or one group of people, is responsible for educating and looking out for bullying,” she said.
The textbooks were made possible by a Newton Partnership grant, Keegan said.