Mendham Township Schools have done well in their attempt in minimizing harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) within the district, according to a report put together by outgoing superintendent Kristopher Harrison.
Harrison’s HIB Semi-Annual Report indicated that the district limited itself to just five incidents of confirmed HIB since the last report. Of those, one occurred at the third grade, sixth grade and eighth grade levels apiece, while two occurred at the seventh grade level.
Harrison credits this to the professional development opportunities the district has provided for its employees in an attempt to make sure all are educated as to how to effectively prevent HIB incidents.
“We have a litany of programs that we started off the school year with, and it’s been a recurring topic,” Harrison said. “It has continued to be addressed in faculty meetings and department meetings throughout the year.”
Children have also been exposed to ways to combat HIB through various forms of curricula and activities, both inside and outside of the classroom, to teach them about tolerance and respect for one another.
“We’ve provided students with variety of resources and training so they’re well aware of what they’re responsibilities are and understanding of students who have differences that they should be celebrating,” Harrison said.
Harrison largely credits the students for the low number of HIB incidents within the district, noting that, while official numbers have not been compiled for comparative purposes, his understanding is that the district’s HIB numbers are among the lowest in the region.
“We’re very fortunate to have the student population that we do, whoare well-behaved and focused on their academics and generally enjoy positive social interactions,” Harrison said. “Whatever efforts come out of this, if we help children foster better relationships and have better school experiences, I think that’s fantastic.”