Trustee Lew Blackburn, Ph.D., represents District 5 covering Oak Lawn, West Dallas, Wilmer, Hutchins and parts of East Oak Cliff. He shares how social and emotional learning is a critical component of helping students soar to success, particularly as we address bullying. The excerpt below is from his monthly column in The Dallas Examiner.
Leading by example – How we can help prevent bullying
Dallas ISD is taking a stand for our students with Social and Emotional Learning, or SEL. Schools that adopt SEL promote a positive environment where students’ emotional needs are met, parents are an integral part of student success, and staff feels supported and prepared to meet their daily challenges. This year, several campuses are practicing SEL by fostering a positive and nurturing environment and reinforcing the knowledge and skills needed to develop healthy relationships and improved social awareness. These efforts are already paying off in fewer discipline referrals in those schools.
Social and emotional skills that prevent bullying, like empathy and perspective, are directly taught, practiced and modeled. To prevent bullying and improve the overall health of our district, school counselors are also coordinating Character Education activities in October and anti-bullying related activities into November.
I believe that District 5 can be a positive role model, and be the example for how to prevent bullying in our schools and community. If your child is a victim of bullying, reach out to your school’s administration and counselor. Visit StopBullying.gov for some great resources on identifying and preventing all types of bullying behavior. Most children don’t understand the damaging consequences of bullying – it’s up to us to educate them.