TPS Urges Parents, Kids To Be Vigilant, Report Signs Of Bullying


Thursday, September 27th 2012, 7:02 pm
By: Emory Bryan


Bullying has been getting increased attention over the last few years, and in Tulsa, the school district is making an effort to spot bullying and respond when they find out about it.

Tulsa Public Schools tries to train people to spot bullying situations, and requires them to report it.

TPS has had cases of bullying reported throughout all grades, ranging from normal conflict between children, all the way up to children thinking about suicide.

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That's what's been reported, so far, through an online system the district started using this year.

"Usually, it is a safety issue, having to do with or a school site or a particular person," said Safe Schools coordinator, Geoffrey Woodson.

Woodson said about 250 reports have been made since January and, increasingly, it's children making the reports.

"Youth know and are more secure with an online system, that they know is going to be totally confidential," Woodson said.

TPS trains teachers and staff to look for signs of bullying and requires them to report in writing anything they see.

The reports go immediately to the leadership at each school, the central office, and to campus police for review.

Reports can be anonymous and the reporting system is available for parents and students to use.

The challenge, according to the district, is actually knowing what's happening so all the resources can be put into action.

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"We work with teachers and we tell them, ‘We need you to be vigilant, we want you to be watching,'" said student services coordinator Teena Whitsel.

The computer system helps track cases, but the problem remains, and the signs are the same as they've always been.

"There are kids dealing with issues of just wanting to be accepted at their school, to be a part of something," said Woodson.

The online system is available on the TPS homepage.

They especially want students to know it's a safe place to report problems, and for parents to know the signs to look for.