Superintendent’s Keynote Touts Anti-Bullying Efforts
Speaking to a group of community advocates and organizations, elected officials and civil servants, LCPS Superintendent Dr. Greg Ewing delivered a keynote speech highlighting the anti-bullying measures the school district has implemented in recent years. The remarks came during the Doña Ana County Coalition Against Bullying (CAB) annual meeting and celebration Friday, Jan. 19 at Sunset Grill.
“In the age of social media, decisions these students make today could impact the course of their entire lives. This is why it’s important for us to encourage them make choices as responsible members of society,” Ewing said. “We’ve also been working extensively with our district leaders to ensure they have the resources and training to identify the early warning signs and address the root causes of bullying.”
Ewing went on to discuss how the district has taken a multifaceted approach to address bullying by refining regulations and processes, establishing new support programs and utilizing restorative justice techniques.
Prior to Ewing’s address, Board of Education President Maria Flores spoke briefly about the Board’s commitment to creating policies which protect students. Echoing Flores’ comments, Ewing said the district recently began reviewing school policies and district regulations to ensure they are in line with the Board’s policies.
“Reviewing all of these policies and regulations led us to develop a new investigation process and training program for our district administrators,” Ewing said. “This gives us a standardized system of fairness, so that everyone is on the same page.”
As part of the new system, Ewing said the district has also begun relieving school counselors if other duties in order to given them additional time to use their skills and training to support students. He added that the district is also exploring the idea of creating “safe spaces” within LCPS middle and high schools which will provide academic and mental health resources.
In addition, Ewing touted the success of the newly created high school international welcome centers and the Department of Equity, Innovation and Social Justice which has provided additional support for students and their families.
“With restorative justice, we look at the underlying ideology behind the bullying behavior and work to de-escalate and remediate bullying situations,” Ewing said. “These programs also help to counteract the underlying socioeconomic factors that come into play.”
Closing out the meeting, Flores asked the coalition members to consider adding a position in the executive committee specifically for a school board member and Ewing offered to let the coalition use school buildings for future coalition meetings or events.
-LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren, firstname.lastname@example.org, (575) 527-5808