Maitland Middle School’s Healthy School Team (HST), under the leadership of Randy Singer, set up Bully Prevention Boxes in the second half of the 2011-12 school year to help curb bullying issues. This project was a follow-up to the bully prevention lessons presented in December 2011. Three lockable mailboxes were placed outside the exterior restrooms in the sixth, seventh and eighth grade hallways. Students could place notes in the boxes describing any bullying they were experiencing or witnessing. Boxes were regularly checked weekly and each week, one to five complaints were able to be addressed and mediated.
“The bully prevention boxes have provided a great way for students to speak out in a safe way,” Mr. Singer said. “It allowed me to meet with the victims and aggressors individually and to mediate what was happening. I saw a large drop in complaints about bullying during the 4th nine weeks.”
Teachers also got some TLC during the stress-filled second half of the school year, thanks to the HST. It offered a yoga class for teachers focused on healthy stress management strategies like using breathing and relaxation, as well as chair massages.
“The results were great,” Mr. Singer said. “Teachers reported improved physical and mental states.”