Vicenza anti-bullying policy goes into effect

By Julie M. Lucas, Outlook editor

A new policy for Caserma Ederle can put children who attend schools on Caserma Ederle and their parents’ minds at ease. In a joint partnership between the Department of Defense Dependant Schools and Army Community Service, Caserma Ederle became the 10th Army Europe Installation to sign into effect an anti-bullying policy March 26.

This initiative began in October in Garmisch, Germany, where a problem had begun. Installation Management Command-Europe’s Judi Patrick, transition specialist and school liaison officer has been traveling around to different installations in Europe helping to sign the policy.

“Our goal is to create a deeply caring environment,” said Patrick. “We look at punishment versus discipline and even tie in the after-school programs, so that problems don’t spread.”

The focus is on third-fifth grade students and they will be receiving a USO sponsored kit including a book called, “Pain in the Brain.” The kits have information about career guides and encourage goals as well as provide financial information. The day after the policy was signed, post youth staff joined together for educational training to place the policy locally. The education included learning about “hot spots” where trouble can begin.

“Seventy five of our key leaders went through this training so our children in our school won’t have to deal with bullying,” said Joshua Gwinn, Family and Morale, Wellness and Recreation director.

Often bullying does not take place in the classroom, but on the playground, in the hallway or the bus, according to Patrick. With the new plan in place when a problem occurs at a youth event or at school, information is shared between agencies so that problems don’t prolong. The benefit of the new policy is peace of mind that students and their parents can feel safe and problems won’t spread beyond an isolated incident.

“I’m so pleased at the enthusiasm we’ve received about this policy,” said Norie McCall, Vicenza school liaison officer. “This kind of training and support we have received is invaluable.”


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