Bullying in schools is of increasing focus for Florida schools, districts, and for the Florida Department of Education. Florida Statute 1006.147, also known as The Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act, requires school districts to adopt an official policy prohibiting bullying and harassment of students and staff on school grounds, at school-sponsored events, and through school computer networks.
To assist districts in compliance with the law, the Florida Department of Education's Office of Safe Schools provides guidance to address requirements and expectations of staff, administration, and others. Visit http://www.fldoe.org/safeschools/bullying.asp to learn more or contact us at: (850) 245-0416 or SDFS@fldoe.org.
Below are links to additional information.
The Florida Department of Education's Office of Safe Schools - http://www.fldoe.org/safeschools/bullying.asp
Additionally, the Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center (SSSTA) has developed a variety of culturally and linguistically competent products and tools to assist interested stakeholders in addressing these issues and to ensure that schools are safe and supportive environments for all students.
You can utilize training toolkits during staff meetings, training events and conferences.
Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment on Our Nation's School Buses. This training toolkit is made up of two modules to address bullying on school buses. Specifically, it is designed to assist school bus drivers in cultivating meaningful relationships with students while creating a positive climate on the bus.
Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment in Our Nation’s Classrooms. This training toolkit is made up of two modules to address bullying in classrooms. Specifically, it is designed to assist teachers in cultivating meaningful relationships with students while creating a positive climate in the classroom.
Get Smart, Get Help, Get Safe. This training toolkit will include one module designed for school staff to address teen dating violence.
StopBullying.gov Launches Spanish Website
StopBullying.gov has launched a new Spanish website: http://espanol.stopbullying.gov/. Like the English-language version, the new site provides teachers, parents and community leaders with the resources they need to prevent bullying. Be sure to explore the new site for research and best practices on cyberbullying, prevention and response!
This site also provides a Spanish-language Bullying Prevention Training Module, in addition to the resources listed below.
Training Module with Speaker Notes – a presentation with suggested talking points, including the latest research to help participants create an action plan for a community event
For more information and resources visit www.StopBullying.gov.
The CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard
The CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard (HSC) is a tool designed to help employers assess the extent to which they have implemented evidence-based health promotion interventions in their worksites. The CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard assists employers in identifying gaps in their health promotion programs, and helps them to prioritize high-impact strategies for health promotion at their worksites including: organizational supports, tobacco control, nutrition, physical activity, weight management, stress management, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke, and emergency response to heart attack and stroke.
Download the scorecard: The CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard
Why Does Employee Wellness Matter?
Health care costs take a large bite out of the already lean school district budget and districts are facing unsustainable increases in these costs. Wellness programs are an effective strategy that should be embedded in the district strategic plan and included as a key strategy in the academic mission. By implementing employee wellness programs, Florida school districts are taking steps to ensure that the resources of the people of Florida are maximized by providing a strong, healthy, and productive workforce.
Thirty Florida School Districts have formed the School District Employee Wellness Partnership. Members share information, problem solve as a group, share best practices, and participate in quarterly calls and an annual meeting. Mutual support and sharing of information and resources is very useful in conducting your program, whether it is a well established district wide program or you're just getting started. The partnership is open to all Florida school districts. For information on how to become a member of the partnership contact the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention at 850-245-4330.
Step by Step to Employee Wellness
Employee wellness is a vital component of the Coordinated School Health approach and a key element of the Florida Healthy School District Self-Assessment. Employees who practice healthy behaviors serve as role models for students and help to create a “culture of wellness” in schools in which the healthy choice is the easy choice. Healthy employees are more engaged and productive, absent less often, and less likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and cancer that can increase the cost of healthcare for the district and reduce the amount of money that is available for critical educational purposes such as staff.
The Florida Department of Health has created a school level implementation tool that provides a simple guide for implementing health and wellness programs in schools, administrative offices, transportation departments and other areas that serve groups of employees. The guide is available at Step by Step to Employee Wellness.
Improved Blood Pressure Control Among School Bus Drivers with Hypertension
The Department of Transportation mandates that drivers that hold a commercial driver license have normal blood pressure readings. The School Board of Broward County (SCBC) provided onsite biometric screenings at their transportation sites to determine the prevalence of hypertension. Many of their drivers were out of compliance.
In partnership with Novartis Pharmaceuticals and their insurer, SCBC offered educational materials, weekly consultations with a dietician, gym membership, behavioral trainings and health seminars at no cost to the drivers. In addition, blood pressure machines were installed in all of their transportation terminals. Participants were screened at the beginning of the school year and before the start of summer break to evaluate the impact of the hypertension educational initiative.
As a result of this initiative, the proportion of drivers diagnosed with hypertension who practiced self-management behaviors (such as blood pressure monitoring, exercise, and diet) increased. Participants also reported high level satisfaction with the SCBC wellness program. The study was published in the Journal of Population Health Management and featured on ABC World News.