- Wednesday night we told you about the Antigo School District's anti-bullying program.
Our series continues as we take a look at the results of that program and explain how the Safe School Ambassador program is doing exactly what school officials hoped.
Antigo School District's anti-bullying program is paying off.
Safe School Committe Chairperson Janene Beck-Hafner says, "The Safe School Ambassador Program has shown an improvement of harassment and bullying cases, in other words it's decreased."
Beck-Hafner says the program teaches students to diffuse situations where bullying is happening. But she says their proactive approach doesn't stop there.
"Bullying and harassment, what it looks like for our bus drivers, our cooks, our custodians, our instructional assistants--we have to tackle this as a whole school community and we need to make sure that everybody knows what it looks like and what they should do if they see it."
The district also works to combat bullying in non-traditional ways.
Antigo School-Police Liason Officer DJ Eldridge says, "Being the liason officer I'm able to go onto Facebook and now they're talking about electronic harassment and bullying and that's also against the law."
Eldridge says with the help of Safe School Ambassadors and their personal Facebook pages, he can find bullying.
"It's very easy to download pages as far as specific incidents with bullying or harassment and then from there we can continue with our procedures."
But Eldridge stresses in order to stop bullying--staff need to know about it.
"The reason they don't report it is they're afraid of retaliation, however if nothing is done, it will continue."
Beck-Hafner adds, "We're trying to bring the incidents down as best as we can, through a proactive approach, versus a reactive approach."
A community approach to stop bullying and keep kids safe.
Governor Jim Doyle did pass a law last week that requires all school districts in Wisconsin to adopt an anti-bullying policy by August 15th of this year.
Since the Antigo School District already has rules in place, they're looking to expand their Safe School Ambassador program next year.
Written By: Bridget Fargen