LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - More than every one in five students is a victim of bullying. According to Lincoln Public Schools, one if their top priorities is ensuring the safety of each and every student, which is why the district takes bullying very seriously.
Through multiple programs and policies, LPS said the first step they take is establishing an environment where kids feel safe and where they learn to be assertive.
Ross Uhing, the LPS director of student services, said, "that's done in multiple ways, including strong relationships between staff and students and between parents and families that attend the school."
Jessica Northup, a counselor at Fredstom Elementary said, "We are loving and caring and respectful and responsible."
"That foundation is in each classroom that the teacher sets up even though they see me less frequently, that's just established," she added.
Northup is a counselor at Fredstrom Elementary, teaching the 2nd step program, a social and emotional learning curriculum that LPS introduces to students starting in Pre-K.
According to Northup, it starts in the classroom, teaching students to be respectful, but use their voice.
"We encourage them to be respectful but strong. So we talk about shoulders back, head up, strong voice. So we can really empower them," she said.
The school district said the program is not only great for helping students identify bullying, but also for helping them problem solve.
Uhing said, "Part of that problem solving piece includes if i have a problem with a peer, how can I resolve that potential conflict in a productive, positive way."