MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A boy being attacked on a school bus is an extreme example of bullying. But to make sure it doesn’t get to this point, teachers and school administrators attended a special summit in Minneapolis.

It started out as a plan to learn more about bullying at schools.  But the organizers just couldn’t believe the response.  They had so many instructors interested in attending, they had to move to a larger space.

“We see students for a large chunk of the day when they’re interacting with their peers,” said Teresa Vibar, the principal at Highland Park Elementary School in St. Paul.

She brought along a team of teachers to Monday’s sold-out summit on bullying.

“Teachers really felt like there was a need to have a better understanding of how to respond to not only the victims, but the bullies,” said Vibar.

Fred Storti organized the conference for the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association.

“We think it’s important to help school professionals to have strategies, solutions and an evidence based program to work with,” he said.

Storti said there hasn’t really been a rise in the amount of bullying in Minnesota schools. But new media is creating a new awareness.

“Cyber bullying, texting, sexting — those kinds of issues have become certainly a bigger concern,” said Storti.

Vibar says bullying has become a part of regular academics.

“If you think about foreign language,” she said, “it’s best taught at an earlier age. So the sooner they have the vocabulary and the knowledge and the understanding, the sooner they can put it into practice.  So it’s helping children discover their voice when they do feel sad or hurt by something that was said or done.”

And Vibar said parents need to take an active role asking their kids about what’s happening at school.  Then talking to the school about any concerns.

“The sooner that parents have a sense that something isn’t right at school,” said Vibar, “giving the classroom teacher and administrator a heads up will go a long way in helping us reduce, if not eliminate, bullying in our schools.”

Joan Gilbertson, Producer
Contact Joan

Comments (21)
  1. Burnsville resident says:

    I was bullied in high school, and none of the teachers and administration didnt do a damn thing, what makes you think this teacher summit will help out now?

    1. Big T says:

      We all were bullied in school. First I learned how to run faster. When that didn’t work anymore, I learned how to fight. Then I learned that sometimes I needed an equalizer, be it a friend or a stick! Things got better after that!

  2. Tony B. Newman says:

    Teachers don’t want to do anything more then teach……outside of that role….its the students, community and parents problem. I can’t tell you how sick I felt in high school to see how little teachers involve themselves when they see or become aware of bullying going on. Teachers only work nine months per year – and have more vacation then most……Why do they earn so much?

  3. lcarter says:

    One of my best friends is a 2nd grade teacher, and her school just had a No bullying program, and she talks and teaches her students consistantly about bullying, and teaching them to have empathy towards one another. Although alot of teachers don’t do anything, there are some that do care. I too was bullied, and I remembered it like it was yesterday

  4. Big T says:

    Really? This will be good. How much government intervention do we need on our life? Next thing you know, they will be wiping our butts for us or at least telling us how to. Get over it. It may not be right but it is going to happen no matter what they do! It’s a part of growing up. Unless the teachers start carrying a big stick…that might work but most teachers I know wouldn’t know how to use one anyway. Now that I am older, it’s the government that bullies me…….. Oh dear, please help me Mr. Government because I am an idiot and can’t think for myself……………………………………………………..Really? Is this what we want?

    1. Todd W. Olson says:

      Thank goodness that we have upstanding citizens like Big T who are here to tell us that our children deserve to be bullied.

    2. Megan says:

      Very true Big T, we’ve got our government doing the bullying now. In reference to Todd, below, get over it. T wasn’t saying that kids should be bullied but it is part of life that will never fully go away because we are human. I’m sure Todd has not always been a victim but has been a perpertrator himself at some point. We all have to some degree whether overt or not. The sensitivity level in this country is off the charts.

      1. Todd W Olson says:

        Until it happens to YOUR kid, Megan. Then it will be the worst thing that ever happened, no doubt.

  5. Darren says:

    I remember the bullying, being the skinny kid with glasses. I also know how strong it made me as I got older, then I watched as some of the kids that bullied me committed suicide after high school, so I guess there lives weren’t so great after all. But I do wish I would have fought back more with my fists. I still hold a grudge against some of those guys that bullied me some 25 years ago. And the sad part is, some of those guys haven’t changed one bit, so you can imagine how their kids must be. Its to bad kids don’t fight fist to fist anymore, its weapons now instead.

  6. Nicole says:

    I attended this Summit and the government had nothing to do with putting it on. The purpose of the entire day was to learn how to best deal with bullying and prevention techniques. No one deserves to be bullied and there are MANY teachers and administrators who share this point of view, as is shown by the number of people in attendance today (400 in attendance, 200 had to be turned away due to lack of space).

  7. Victim Du Jour says:

    If you help a chicken hatch from it’s eggshell, the chick does not develop important muscles and becomes weak. In some cases the chick will end up dying.

    They call it an anti-bully summit, but it’s more to punish people for political dissent.

    Anything against liberal indocrination will be called bullying.

  8. Todd says:

    VD, bullying is wrong, and no amount of sophistry on your part will make it otherwise. Your pathetic attempt to justify it is ample evidence of your lack of basic decency.

    1. Victim Du Jour says:

      You don’t need anything special to stop violence in schools. We already have plenty of laws on the books.

      If you capture a student getting beat up on the school bus with a video. You turn over the evidence to the police and charge the violent students with the many laws we already have in play.

      Somehow I get the feeling this summit is trying to push something for an activist group.

  9. me says:

    It’s the _ucking loser parents that allow the bullying. If parents could actually control their kids! Teachers shouldn’t have to do a damn thing but teach! Parents need to raise decent kids…but we’re all too lazy now…it’s the teachers job isn’t you frikn losers!. It’s not the teachers fault! I blame the lazy loser parents!!! No wonder this country is going to hell! I bet most of them voted for Obama.

    1. Joe says:

      It’s true that it is the parents fault for raising kids that do this but also true that humans are predisposed to this behavior and will continue with it if they aren’t raised with discipline ( for all you liberals, no not physical abuse). The vulgarity is a bit much on the last comment – showing a complete lack of class and restraint, but the point is made. It isn’t the teacher’s job to oversee every child’s personal development and I’m sure it gets old from the teacher’s perspective. Parents tend to be too self involved and just want to be “friends” with their child rather than offering them discipline in their life.

      1. me says:

        Joe…I agree that my language has no class nor restraint. But i find this whole issue so hypocritical it makes me sick. I was bullied as a kid and now my kid is as well. Perhaps it’s a right of passage, but when they print these stories…nothing really gets done…just like about everything else. Have you actually read your district’s policy on bullying? Mine basically says they don’t do crap. If teachers, since parents are too stupid, could actually instill discipline like the old days, maybe we would have results. But we are all so sue happy in this country, why would any teacher or anybody else try to discipline these kids the way they should be? Life in America has become too easy for all of us and no one has respect for anyone else. This gets passed down to the kids. How sad not to have hope…but that’s how I feel. Hope and change…not in America.

  10. Ralph says:

    Bullying on a school bus, which includes threats that the student, the parent & the grandparent who meet the bus are going to be killed : The bus company, the school district and the school all pass the buck. Remember Columbine, Red Lake, etc.? Do we need to hire an attorney? Do I (the grandparent) need to appy for a permit to carry a gun? Will someone in Education Minnesota please give me an answer? Ralph

    1. Jake says:

      Ralph – Read the book on Columbine and it will give you a different perspective on what happened. The parents seemed to try to get help for their boys but one was born with sociopathic traits and influenced the other to commit the murders at Columbine. Very interesting stuff although the families didn’t disclose all the facts of the two boys’ lives up until that point.

  11. Charles says:

    My little girl 1st-2nd grade has been licked, scraped (many times) and has had her backback stomped on by the same bully. The school has done nothing, why you may ask. Well it’s because the child is autistic. I have asked for a transfer to another class. Been denied! They give me the lets use this as a teaching tool line.

    The same class another student brought a knife to class. For the rec. this is not inner city. It’s a school k-6 in Hopkins 270.

    Teachers and staff don’t want to help, Nor do they care. It’s all about the NUMBERS and QUOTAS. Minorities in education also plays a role! No not just balck and white but also the ones with low functioning autism and alike. Half of my daughters class are Minorities of some type.

    They shut a school down a few years ago and rent it out to a samoli group now stating they didn’t have the funds but then The same school above also buses in two students in ON A BUS from Prior Lake! WHY? Is that cost effective?

    I hope the WI thing comes here! I will be first in line to walk my kids in class with a scab!

  12. Charles says:

    My Daughter has been bullied by the same stutdent for two years. She is in 2nd grade now. She has been licked in the face, gouged in the tops of the hands and ribs and has also had her backback stomped on. I have asked for a transfer to another class only to be denied. Thought about another school but if I can’t get a different class the chance of another school is little to none.

    So you may ask what has been done. Well the school used this has a teaching tool. To let her know she can’t run from every problem. They wont do anything other than that. See he is Autistic! God forbid we upset a minority. The same class another student brought a knife to class. Keep inmind this is not inner city, ths is Hopkins 270.

    270, who a few years earlier shut a school down because of money. YET they bus in two students from Prior Lake??? Is that cost effective? Maybe I can open enrole my girls in Duluth? I hope WI Drama comes here, I will be first to walk my kids in class with a scab!

    Schools want to know why grades are going down…

    1) Parents aren’t in kids lives anymore.
    2) Libbies who want the Government to handout what we can’t wont do anything unless you have an asterisk at the end of your name with a monority label. (not just Black & White)
    3) To many resources going to educate kids that they shouldn’t!
    4) This is from Education MN web site, “Bullying can dramatically affect your students’ academic and social progress. A safe and fear-free school environment calls for a comprehensive bullying intervention plan that involves all students, parents, faculty and staff.”

    Well the staff at my girls school don’t care!

  13. Charles says:

    Well, that was stupid. It didn’t post so I retyped it and here it is today. So you got it twice. Sorry.

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