Creating a more accepting culture at one local high school

In the last few days a video went viral that featured a Tennessee middle-schooler telling his Mom about being a victim of bullying at his school. One local high school is addressing the problem with a proactive approach and aims to create an environment of inclusion and kindness with their students.

On KVNU’s For the People program on Tuesday, our guests were Mountain Crest High School principal Teri Cutler and school counselor Kris Hart. Cutler says that she tries to instill the idea that students should treat people the way they want to be treated.

“I have the fortunate privilege of having known most of these students since middle school. So I’m lucky because they understand my style and one of the big things that I talked to these students about, for the past six years, has been that nice matters,” said Cutler.

Hart talked about some of the Character Education programs they have in place, including one called Inside Out.

“It is a weekly video that we show on Tuesdays. It’s talking about emotions, suicide prevention (and) anti-bullying.”

Hart said because of the high incidence of domestic violence in Utah, students might witness this at home. So the staff tries to welcome these students even though they might arrive angry or hungry.

She said they have actively decreased out-of-school suspensions, instead students who act out or have issues may have an in-school suspension where they have a place to go in a more positive environment. They are assisted to get their homework done and help is provided to deal with what’s going on in their lives.

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