Anoka-Hennepin Anti-bullying/Anti-harassment Task Force ... Page 3 3 Anti -Bullying/Anti -Harassment

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  • Anoka-Hennepin Anti-bullying/Anti-harassment Task Force January 14, 2016

    6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Anoka-Hennepin Educational Service Center

    Meeting Notes Members Present: Alyssa Beddoe, Angela Diep, Annette Cook, Arnita Walls, Beth Hentges, Bryan Lindquist, Cassidy Streff, Carter Schrippe, Diana Glebova, Donna McDonald, Elizabeth Feurborn, Jean King, Jennifer Cherry, Jim Skelly, Jinger Gustafson, John Pena, Judi Orland, Kathy Riddle, Kirsten Rasmussen, Linda Rodgers, Nita Kumar, Simone Simon, Steve McIntosh, Tracee Cahalan, Victoria Brown Members Absent: Berlynn Bitengo, Elias Kinfu, Emerson Badio, Jacob Ericson, John Phelps, LaRon Patnode, Tony Arellano Chair: Jennifer Cherry Facilitator: Mary Olson Guest: Johnna Rohmer-Hirt - Director, Research, Evaluation and Testing Recorder: Laurie Rasmusson Introductions Chair Dr. Jennifer Cherry opened this first meeting of the fourth year of the Anoka- Hennepin Anti-bullying/Anti-harassment Task Force. It has been the practice of this group to start and end meetings in a circle where all members face each other and talk to the center. Members were asked to introduce themselves, give a brief background of why they were there and/or how long they have been a member of the task force, and give a one or two word reflection of last year’s work. Following is a representation of responses: still learning, eye opening, encouraging, worthwhile, powerful, build awareness, hopeful (3), continuing, perseverance, disappointingly ineffectual, inspiring, curious, unfinished, committed, passionate, empowerment, positive, welcoming, data driven, actionary. Ground rules established at the first meeting of the Task Force and were modified by the steering committee this fall. Following a review and brief discussion, no changes were made and are as follows:

    • No texting, calls, reading of emails. Sound off on phones, pads, and other electronic devices.

    • You may tell stories/repeat statements, but no attributions of whose story/statement is being repeated.

    • No sharing of stories you hear today, unless storyteller gives express permission. • No fixing. No advice. • Seek to understand. Avoid judging. • Listen with attention (no side conversations). Speak with intention.

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    2 Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment Task Force Notes 01/14/2016 Final

    • Contribute to the well-being of the group. Review Charge and Previous Work The Anti-bullying/Anti-harassment Task Force existed as an internal district committee prior to the formation of this group. In 2012, the school district created a second, community-based committee focused on eliminating bullying and harassment in our schools. This community-based committee includes students, staff, parents and various community members as outlined in our Consent Decree (a mediated settlement with the government following a law suit brought against the district by current and former students related to bullying and sex-based and sexual orientation-based harassment issues). The focus of the Anti-bullying/Anti-harassment Task Force is to improve school climate for all students and serve as an advisory committee to the School Board. Recommendations to the Board have been made in each of the last three years. The internal district committee, the Anti-bullying/Anti-harassment Leadership Team, continues to work internally to drive this work, including facilitating the implementation of AB/AH Task Force recommendations. The Charge (set forth by the School Board and defined in the Consent Decree) to this task force is as follows:

    • Bring forth concerns of students and parents related to harassment incidents and the district’s overall climate.

    • Recommend strategies to prevent harassment and improve the educational climate.

    • Outreach strategies to parents and families to build awareness around, address concerns related to, and gain feedback regarding the district’s anti-harassment efforts.

    A brief review of past recommendations was presented:

    • Commitment and Core Values o The work of this committee is directly connected to the District’s core values

    (adopted in 1993) and mission statement (adopted in 2004). o In 2013, these two items were combined into the Anti-bullying/Anti-

    harassment Guiding Principles (see attachment 1) showing how we put the District’s core values and mission statement into action.

    • Recommendation Reports o Each year the task force makes a recommendation(s) to the School Board

    of ways to improve the school and educational climate for all students. All previous recommendation reports are posted on the task force’s web page found at

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    3 Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment Task Force Notes 01/14/2016 Final

    o See Attachment 2 for a summary of TF Recommendations and discussions for 2012-2015.

    o Last year the task force focused on data to direct the recommendation. The overarching theme through all areas was the need to hear more student voices.

    • Recommendation of June 2015: Focus on incorporating student voice into examining the effectiveness of the District’s anti-bullying efforts.

    o To this end, on March 4, 2016 we plan to bring approximately 100 students together from all secondary sites, including alternative sites, for a student forum. Early plans were to include all levels, including elementary, but this proved to be logistically unworkable due to school start and stop times and transportation issues.

    What Do We Know Now? Survey: the Director of the District’s Research Evaluation and Testing Department Johnna Rohmer-Hirt shared that the District surveys students in various ways:

    • Anti-Bullying Survey o Administered to students in grades 4, 6, 8 and 10 annually

    • Student Engagement Survey o Administered to students in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 annually

    • Ninth Grade Transition Survey o Administered to students in grade 9 annually

    • Senior Exit Survey o Administered to all students in May of grade 12

    • Minnesota Student Survey (Minn. Dept. of Education, Health, Human Services and Public Safety)

    o Administered every three years, currently in grades 5, 8, 9, and 11

    • Student Listening Sessions: adds qualitative data to the quantitative data received through surveys

    o Superintendent visits to all secondary site (diverse groups of students, representative of schools)

    o Title IX Coordinator visits with Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs (GSA’s) Input from this Task Force has contributed to changes and improvements to surveys. For example, the Parent Attitude and Satisfaction Survey was changed due to a task force recommendation seeking to learn more from families about feeling respected and accepted in schools. Additional student input in vetting survey questions is anticipated moving forward.

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    4 Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment Task Force Notes 01/14/2016 Final

    • Student Perception Data (Attachment 3) o Student surveys indicate a very high number of our students feel safe in our

    schools, however there is still a segment that do not. See Attachment 3 for a summary of students’ feelings of safety, experiences with bullying, and feelings of connectedness and relationships.

    Student Event Planning Members divided into small groups to brainstorm discussion topics for the March student event. Ideas discussed at tables were captured on large poster paper. Groups then transferred their three “best” topics onto smaller sheets and shared with the large group. Finally, members cooperatively “grouped” similar ideas as follows:

    • Grouping 1 o What works? (prevention) o Relevance of Student Training

    • Grouping 2

    o Barriers to reporting bullying o Prevention – What doesn’t work?

    • Grouping 3

    o What is your definition of:  Cyberbullying  Bullying  Fair

    o Interpretations of student survey questions o Define “Bullying”.

     What is the difference between being mean, teasing and bullying? o What forms of bullying do you see at school or in the community?

    • Grouping 4

    o What would you do, in your ideal world, to handle a bully?

    • Grouping 5 o Do you know “coping” mechanisms if you are/see bullying?

     What would you do?!

    • Grouping 6 o Are things improving?

     Why? Why not? o You have been a victim of bullying. How would you have wanted to be handled

    differently if you were not satisfied with the results?

    • Grouping 7 o What would cause someone to bully?

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    5 Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment Task Force Notes 01/14/2016 Final

    • Grouping 8 o Social Media o Anonymous comments o Harassing comments o Photos

    • Additional ideas from small group discussions; not presented to or discussed by large group:

    o Off campus bullying – how is it handled o i.e. on bus o Videos – do they work? o What do you like? o What don’t you like? o What steps do you take if you see bullying? o Why do kids bully? o What forms of bullying do you see at school/community? o What things in elementary school impacted your middle school experience? o Do