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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Parents, Students: ‘Don’t Cut Anti-Bullying Program’

By James Lomuscio

In the wake of a brief but painful cyber-bullying episode at Westport’s Staples High School last week caused by the phone app Yik Yak, more than a dozen parents and students begged the Board of Education tonight not to cut its anti-bullying program, Kool to Be Kind (K2BK).

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The Yik Yak app was disabled at Staples but not before it swept through the school last week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Proponents of the four-year-old, empathy-based K2BK program run in third grade classrooms by parent volunteers and Staples students spoke after school administrators presented nearly an hour’s overview of their own School Climate Committee’s effectiveness. It was the second time in little more than a month that the board had heard emotional pleas about the program from students and parents. (See WestportNow April 24, 2014)

“I heard a lot of words thrown around tonight, and I’m concerned,” Jessica Gross, a Staples junior, said about the administrative report that used terms such as “digital citizenship” and “social-emotional competence.”

“Bullying is an issue now,” she added, noting K2BK was more effective.

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