Thursday, March 10, 2011


Governor Jack Markell made a promise in his State of the State to make Delaware's schools safer. "It is often the response during the first critical minutes that will determine the outcome," says state Secretary of Safety & Homeland Security Lewis D. Schiliro (a former FBI Director in NYC). He's tasked with creating a model plan for public schools to follow in the event of an emergency of any kind. "It's really designed to work whether it's a fire, a chemical spill, some kind of intruder, and we're gonna do our best to plan for all those kinds of things," says Gov. Markell. With Delaware students spending more than a third of their time within an educational setting it is imperative that school safety be a priority, Governor Markell said.

Having public safety experts create a model plan for schools to utilize is the first step toward better preparing for any type of emergency. The first responders are often school administrators, teachers, and students so it is important that each school be aware of potential threats and be prepared to manage them should they occur.” Markell says they'll be trained by State Police School Resource Officers (SROs). "Here's how you deal with this kind of emergency, with this kind of intruder; very specific, step by step, which will then be used to help train the staff in the school, to help train the kids, to make sure everybody's kept safe," said Governor Markell.

“The model will be prepared as a standardized resource for school administrators to use in creating their comprehensive emergency plans. It will contain a scalable and flexible set of checklists that can be customized by administrators to address all-hazards preparedness. It will enhance multiagency coordination between the schools, stakeholders and first responder community to foster an integrated approach to emergency management and incident response,” said Secretary Schiliro.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Peer Intervening Can Generate Positive Peer Pressure Against a Bully

A Student Demonstrating Moral Courage & Character Can Generate Positive Peer Pressure To Stop A Bully's Efforts.

MSNBC conducted an investigative report (see link) on teen behavior to bullying by generating a false story about boy's conducting physical fitness activities. With their parents observing by hidden camera, the video amply demonstrates 2 boys (actors) harassing another boy (an actor) who was extremely non-athletic. The verbal bullying and occasional physical contact (grabbing & slight pushing) clearly makes the unwitting boys participating uncomfortable about the continued bullying. As it escalated, one young man spoke up in support of the bullying victim. This boy speaking up then emboldened the other boys to become more supportive of the victim and put pressure on the bullies to stop.

We need to empower students to speak up individually and collectively to challenge bullying behavior and actions anywhere and anytime it occurs. Speak up and Report to an Adult is what we need to promote.