Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 17, 2013

Saying no to bullies

School districts have worked to decrease bullying for over 10 years

TAHLEQUAH — October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and Tahlequah Public Schools observed Oklahoma’s Bullying Prevention Week Sept. 30-Oct. 4. But one man says awareness events mean little if bullying isn’t addressed year-round.

Fred Poteete, a preventionist for TPS, has long been a proponent of ending bullying on and off school grounds. He said there is disagreement on what constitutes bullying.

“I sat on a Center for Disease Control panel of 12 people a couple of years ago,” he said. “It included experts from UCLA, the University of Buffalo, Clemson. We talked for four days. We wanted to come up with a practicable definition of bullying that schools could use. We’re are supposed to receive a document including the definition sometime this fall. It has taken that long to go through the process.”

Poteete is nationally recognized for his anti-bullying efforts. When former State Sen. Herb Rozell co-authored and introduced the School Bullying Prevention Act, passed in 2002, he credited Poteete as a creator of the legislation.

The act drew attention from beyond Oklahoma, and Poteete was interviewed on national TV programs. He is frequently invited to other districts to discuss anti-bullying measures.

Several activities were held at Tahlequah Middle School during Bullying Prevention Week. One one day, students were assigned seats during lunch to talk with less-familiar classmates.

Fifth-grade and elective class students were given Reasor’s grocery bags to decorate with anti-bullying themes. The bags will be returned to Reasor’s for use by customers.

Students, teachers, administrators and staff signed anti-bullying pledge sheets, and the TMS student group Stand for the Silent marched in the homecoming parade on Oct. 4.

“We also had a day when students wrote their names on pieces of paper, then wrote something positive about the other students on their papers,” Poteete said. “The comments had to deal with character. They couldn’t write that they were good-looking, dressed nicely or their parents drove nice cars.”

Because Oklahoma now has guidelines districts must follow, anti-bullying policies are similar from school to school. Bullying can be physical, social or emotional. In many districts, sexual bullying is addressed in harassment policy.

Separate policy may also govern hazing.

Dr. Marilyn Dewoody, HPS superintendent, said the district takes reports of bullying “very seriously.”

“When we receive a report, our first step is to call the parents,” Dewoody said. “We then thoroughly investigate the incident.”

Dewoody said technology has added the frontier of social media, which many schools are still learning to manage.

“Sometimes with cyber-bullying, it can be difficult to determine what we are able to do,” she said. “If a student posts something on their own Facebook page that bullies another student, we can intervene if it has an effect at school.”

Schools can intervene in cyber-bullying if it is disruptive to instruction or causes anxiety sufficient to interfere with a student’s focus on class or activities.

Any threats of violence can bring school intervention.

State statute defines bullying as actions - including gestures, written or verbal expression, and physical acts - that a reasonable person recognizes will harm another student, damage a student’s property, place another student in reasonable fear of harm, or insult or demean a student in such a way as to interfere with a school’s educational mission.

Policies should be consulted each year, because districts conduct frequent assessments and make adjustments often.

Tahlequah Public Schools and Hulbert Public Schools list their policies online  at www.tahlequahschools.org and www.hulbertriders.com. Both include pages to report bullying.

Text Only
Local News
  • plane-crash-1-a.jpg Plane crash victims recovering

    Two Arkansas men remained in a Tulsa hospital Monday after the plane they were flying crashed into a wooded area in Cookson.
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the 1946 Ercoupe 415 crashed under “unknown circumstances” about a mile from the Tenkiller Air Park in Cookson Saturday morning.
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 75-year-old John McCreary and 85-year-old Albert Demarco Jr., both of Ozark, Ark., were flown from Cookson to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • walker-terrance.jpg Man taken for blood sample confuses hospital with hotel

    Tahlequah police say an Austin, Texas, man stopped Saturday mistook a local hospital for a hotel when he was taken to have his blood drawn.
    Officer Cory Keele’s affidavit says 20-year-old Terrance Walker was driving south on Muskogee Avenue at about 2 a.m. Saturday, swerving from one line to another.
    Keele tried to stop the car near Muskogee and Chickasaw, and Walker eventually slowed to a stop near South Street.
    Walker opened the car door as Keele approached. The officer said Walker had dilated pupils.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ennis-scottie.jpg Knife-cutting incident lands man in jail

    A Tahlequah man jailed for allegedly cutting a woman with a kitchen knife was released on a recognizance bond Monday.
    Scottie Lee Ennis, 42, was arrested after Officer Austin Yates was sent to Tahlequah City Hospital late Friday night.
    There, Yates spoke with Jennifer Pennell, who had apparently suffered a stab wound to her arm.
    Pennell told Yates she and her husband, Ennis, had gone to Dewain’s Place earlier in the evening, and while at the bar, a man bought her a drink.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • hawley-jeremy.jpg Tahlequah man bonds out after arrest for assault

    A 22-year-old Tahlequah man bonded out of jail Monday after his weekend arrest on domestic assault charges.
    Jeremy Hawley was booked into jail Sunday for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor and interfering with a 911 call.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cherokee Nation law eases restrictions in gaming facilities

    The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council on Monday night voted to reduce regulations in its gaming facilities, but to conform to National Indian Gaming Commission minimum internal control standards.
    The measure ultimately passed 9-7, with District 1 Councilor Joe Byrd abstaining.
    Before discussion, Councilor Lee Keener moved to table the item, saying neither he nor members of the gaming commission had sufficient time to review the act. Councilor Cara Cowan-Watts seconded the motion, with a friendly amendment.

    April 15, 2014

  • Boy again caught with stolen items

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies say a juvenile caught with stolen property several times in the past was recently discovered to have more missing items.
    Deputies took a report over the weekend from a man who said his garage was burglarized while he was away from his home for an extended time. A number of items were taken, including an air compressor, leaf grinder, leaf blower, extension cords, drill-bit kit, a cordless drill, antique tools, a pressure washer, a machete, an aluminum ladder and a butane lighter torch.

    April 15, 2014

  • hughes-james.jpg Muskogee man caught with drugs at casino

    Cherokee Nation marshals arrested a Muskogee man Sunday after he was allegedly caught with drugs at the Cherokee Casino.
    Deputy marshals were called when security at the casino noticed a man drop a bag of a white, crystal-like substance.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tahlequah man charged with hitting vehicle, fleeing

    Prosecutors have formally charged a Tahlequah man accused of hitting another vehicle in downtown Tahlequah and leaving the scene.

    April 15, 2014

  • sp-symposium-Child.jpg Child discusses survival of Native communities

    When Dr. Brenda Child, Ojibwe/Red Lake, tells people she is from the reservation at Red Lake, Minn., she explains, “We’re the ones who didn’t lose our lands.”
    Her tribe’s story is unusual among Native Americans, many of whom have been displaced throughout history. But history is complicated, she said. That’s why, as a historian, she is interested in “the small stor[ies].”
    “I’m someone who can’t really get a grasp of the big picture ... unless I look at the individual stories of people on the ground. How were they living? What shaped their lives?” she asked.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-Symposium-Leeds.jpg Developing food security, sovereignty

    When the Cherokees rebuilt their nation 150 years ago following the Trail of Tears, they immediately went to work re-establishing a government, along with higher education and court systems.
    Stacy Leeds, Cherokee citizen and dean of the College of Law at the University of Arkansas, said that while history reveres the Cherokee judges, scholars and lawmakers of the time, most Cherokee citizens were farmers.
    Leeds gave a presentation Friday about tribal governance, land use, food and agriculture police and economic development during the 42nd annual Symposium of the American Indian at Northeastern State University. The luncheon was hosted by the NSU Chapter of American Indian Students in Science and Engineering, and Leeds offered the AISES students food for thought about where their careers could be going.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Stocks