Susan Fitzsimonds, author of The Hero in Me, visited Westgate this September to teach our students and staff about how to stand up to, but also empathize with, a bully. In the powerpoint she shared with the staff here at Westgate, she also outlines the differences between bullying and normal conflict. Normal conflict is an important part of every child's life, and experiencing it teaches necessary social skills that will help a child navigate future conflict in life. The author recommends that adults allow students to work through natural conflict with peers on their own as much as possible to build resolution skills. However, bullying usually requires adult intervention and teaching kids how to be empowered bystanders. Check out the powerpoint for her practical suggestions - and check out the book for even more information!
Annie MacDowell and Jeff Pawelski are the Social Workers at Westgate Elementary. Miss Mac is the School Social Worker and Mr. Pawelski is the Integrated Services Social Worker.