For those students who have experienced bullying, severe enough to require a transfer, an important issue is where to re-enroll. Ed Pilkington, EdS, superintendent of Willow Bend Academy (WBA), with locations in Lewisville and Plano, states, “We frequently admit students who have encountered some sort of bullying in their previous school. At WBA, bullying is not a problem. A more proactive, positive approach is incorporated into our
program regularly, and has produced a safe and successful learning environment for our students.”
He thinks that Willow Bend’s small size is a key factor, along with the fact that teachers and staff model kind and considerate behavior daily. This includes faculty-to-faculty relations, as well as faculty-to-student relations. Pilkington says, “We never need to raise our voice to a student, nor demean them in any way. We do however, have established boundaries and require willing compliance.”
Willow Bend conducts a short daily assembly period of character development presentations that offer learning opportunities for students. A recent topic was entitled “The One Anothers,” which dealt with how people should treat one another.
Pilkington relates, “Our specific topic on the first day was ‘Love.’ Students were presented with opportunities to develop a working definition. Next, they were presented with the concept that ‘love’ isn’t just a word, but must be accompanied by action, or the definition is useless. In the Christian Bible, in the 13th chapter of I Corinthians, there is an excellent definition of what love is, is not, and how it is put into action. Since our school employs Christian faculty and staff, that chapter is our guideline.”
The following day, the topic was “forgiveness.” Forgiving others not only helps the offender, but results in great emotional help for the one doing the forgiving. “Carrying a grudge against another person can be done without the other person even being aware of it,” says Pilkington. “In that case, the grudge has no particular effect on the offender, but does great harm to the one who fails to forgive.”
Simply by modeling and presenting positive and informative instruction on a daily basis, and counseling students when some sort of bullying takes place, which rarely occurs, offers Pilkington, “We have found that our school is a safe, peaceful place where students can concentrate on learning without the fear of being bullied.”
For more information, call 972-599-7882 or visit WillowBendAcademy.com.