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Boulder Valley School District receives grant to expand anti-bullying efforts

The district plans to expand curriculum and add another staff position with the additional funds.

BOULDER, Colorado — Boulder Valley School District is focusing on new anti-bullying programs, and a new grant will help expand them further. 

The Boulder Valley School District piloted an anti-bullying curriculum at Columbine Elementary School, Sanchez Elementary School and Pioneer Bilingual Elementary School. 

The district said the program, called Second Step, was successful, and they received a grant of more than $800,000 to expand it district-wide. This is the first year it is in every elementary school. BVSD hopes to eventually expand it into high schools as well. 

Second Step is taught in both English and Spanish. It is designed to help students recognize bullying, report it and refuse to take part in it. 

Now the district has received an additional grant to hire a full-time coordinator and provide additional resources and communication to parents when a bullying complaint is made. 

"Bullying has proven to have a great impact on the social, emotional wellbeing of young kids," said Marjorie Gomez, School Counselor at Columbine Elementary. "It’s very relevant for all of us to come together as a school or community to guide our students." 

The additional resources are being made after a group of parents communicated to the school that it needed to be more transparent and clear about the process when bullying reports are made. 

"I just think it gives parents an idea of what we are trying to do to support the students and build that three-way between the parent, the school and the student and what we can do to support them," Bullying Prevention Coordinator Mike Lowe said.

The district hopes the additional resources could provide an intermediate step before going to Safe2Tell, a service where parents and children can report bullying incidents. Safe2Tell will then step in with interventions and interruptions when necessary. 

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