Dearborn Public Schools' anti-bullying program isn't just making strides within local schools—it's standing as a model for other districts, too.
So says the Michigan Association of School Administrators, which recognized DPS as a Winners' Circle award winner for 2013 for the program, according to the district.
MASA is the statewide professional association serving superintendents and their teams.
According to the MASA website, "The goal of the Winners’ Circle is to give recognition to members whose leadership has launched or adapted an effective program or practice, that achieves results, and that could be replicated in other districts."
Dearborn schools were a pioneer when it came to Michigan anti-bullying programs, kicking off district efforts before statewide legislation was in place mandating the programs in all Michigan schools.
Dearborn Public Schools began their community-wide anti-bullying program in 2011 with an Anti-Bullying Extravaganza headed up by both city and district officials. The event is repeated annually at the start of the school year.
Throughout the year, schools host their own performances, seminars and challenges to educate students about bullying. And, starting with the 2011-12 school year, the district began recording all bullying incidents.
A total of 919 cases of bullying were recorded.
Superintendent Brian Whiston highlighted some of the aspects that made Dearborn's program stand out to the MASA.
"One thing they liked was that we're training all the employees," Whiston said, "and that we're making it a community-wide event."
He added that Dearborn's program was recognized for not just asking people to not bully others, but to be an "upstander" when they saw bullying behavior.
Past Winners' Circle awardees include West Bloomfield Schools for their at-risk academic mentoring program, Woodhaven-Brownstown for their Central Office Reading Enrichment program, and many others.