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Fewer Students Are Being Bullied In SF Schools



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The results are in from a 2013 bullying survey Sioux Falls students took in April. In 2011, the Sioux Falls School District implemented a program called The Olweus  Bully Prevention Program in all elementary and middle schools to help stop bullying. Monday, the Sioux Falls School Board learned just how well the program is working.

As nearly all of us know, school sometimes isn't the easiest place to be. There are hard classes, teachers you might not like, and of course bullies. But the teachers and other employees of the Sioux Falls School District are working hard to eliminate bullying with their efforts. And according to a recent survey taken by third through eighth graders, it’s working.

“A lot of kids have a better understanding of what bullying is and how to identify it, where it takes place, as well as what they can do when they see bullying happening,” said Celeste Uthe-Burow, Student Support Services Coordinator for the Sioux Falls School District.

Uthe- Burow said compared to the 2011 survey students took, fewer kids are being bullied. According to the survey over 60 percent of students in elementary school said they hadn't been bullied the couple months before the survey was taken. That's up 4 percent from the 56 percent that said they hadn't been in the 2011 survey. Nearly 70 percent of middle school students said they hadn't been bullied. And that rose 6 percent from the 2011 survey.

“There's a lot of power within the kids themselves in standing up for it, as well as it's a culture where we don't tolerate it,” said Uthe-Burow.

Sioux Falls School Board members said they are happy with the results, but it’s not good enough.

“Every kid deserves to be in a safe bully free environment, especially in school. Life is hard enough for those kids,” said Douglas Morrison, President of Sioux Falls School Board.

Uthe-Burow agrees and said the school district will continue to use the program to help get rid of bullying all together.

“We want to see 100 percent of kids that aren't bullied and we will do whatever it takes to try and get us to that 100 percent,” said Uthe-Burow.

The survey also showed that in the 2012-2013 school years 62 students were sent to the office in elementary school for bullying. That’s compared to the 88 that were sent in the 2011-2012 school years.
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