March is Upstander Awareness Month at AISG and together as a community, we raised awareness about bullying and how to be an upstander. Research shows that taking proactive steps to address bullying helps reduce occurrences of it in school. Across our campuses, discussions and demonstrations took place to give our students the tools they need to be an upstander, not a bystander.
On March 1st, all of our teachers across both campuses met at Ersha to kick-off the Upstander Awareness Month with professional development. A presentation was given on how to model and instruct students on the issues of bullying and cyberbullying. Teachers broke out into small groups to work through different scenarios to analyze and provide the proper response. It was also the start of a great mural on our campus that showcases positive messages to our students.
At our Ersha campus, our Elementary School students attended an assembly on March 17th to learn about bullying. At the assembly, teachers acted out the book One by Kathryn Otoshi to illustrate how to be an upstander. They learned that sometimes it takes just one person to stand up to a bully to give others the strength to do it as well. Everyone was encouraged to wear orange in support of Upstanders and after the assembly, the entire Elementary School, along with faculty and staff, stood outside for a huge group photo to celebrate the occasion.
This month, Secondary School student have been discussing bullying and being an upstander during their TARGET and Community Service time as part of the Second Step Middle School program. Second Step Middle School is designed to improve students’ social- emotional skills, such as emotion management, impulse control, problem solving, and empathy. Through various activities, videos, and discussions, students have learned about the different types of bullying as well as the difference between being a bystander and an upstander. Students have proudly been wearing orange upstander arm bands to show off what they’ve learned this month.
At the beginning of the month, AISG Elementary School hosted an on-site parent coffee about the topic of upstanders. This gave us an opportunity to talk to parents about bullying and discuss ways that parents can help in situations where their children need help. In addition, our biweekly eNews, has been sharing helpful links for articles for parents on the subjects of cyberbullying, how to help your child against bullies, and bullying in Elementary School.
To wrap up our programs for Upstander Awareness Month, a member of the Australian Federal Police is hosting a virtual parent coffee for Secondary School parents to discuss cybersafety. Our goal is to give parents an understanding of how young people use the internet and challenges they might face. We hope to give parents the tools to provide students with strategies to overcome these challenges and build resilience in a safe and ethical way.
At AISG, we take child safety very seriously. We want our students to be able to take the skills they have learned this month and apply it to situations in their future. We will continue to educate our community to support each other, stay connected, and to be upstanders, not bystanders.