Bully Prevention and the Cyber-School Advantage
Children are back to school. Cliques have formed. And, sadly, bullying has begun.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. By this point, students — and even some faculty — know each other well enough to identify and torment those they consider vulnerable. The good news is that awareness of bullying is growing. Parents are better at recognizing the signs and talking to their children, and children are speaking up. Awareness is half the battle.
The other half rests on providing solutions that both protect youth at high risk for bullying and enable them to overcome the trauma, regain their confidence, thrive in their formative years, and become valuable contributors to their communities. According to Stopbullying.gov, “Most bullying takes place in school, and on school grounds and the school bus,” with 28 percent of U.S. middle-school and 20 percent of high-school students having experienced bullying. Schools, therefore, are the logical starting point to implement solutions for victims of bullying.
Enter Cyber-Charter Schools.
Parents may initially be attracted to a cyber school because it means moving their child out of the brick-and-mortar school and into the safety of the home. But this is only part of the advantage cyber schools offer.
Consider Agora Cyber Charter School, a full-time, tuition-free, online public charter school serving Pennsylvania residents in grades K-12. At Agora, the educational process looks at the needs of each student and the family that brought them to the school — from bullying, physical or learning disabilities, extracurricular activities or even the desire for greater academic challenge.
In the case of bullying, Agora has an effective approach. A team of guidance counselors, teachers and family coaches — something unique to Agora — works to understand the student emotionally and academically, then crafts a program unique to him or her. The team members’ experience with children at risk for being bullied gives them unique understanding and capabilities to help these children grow past challenges and thrive academically, personally and socially. Agora’s IT services even employ forensic tools to investigate and immediately shut down any school-time cyber-bullying, should it occur.
“Parents come to us fearful for their child’s safety, so much so that academics are almost an afterthought,” said Dr. Michael Conti, CEO, Agora Cyber Charter School. “They soon discover that the safety of their child and the nurturing that allows them to thrive work hand-in-hand with us. Our educational environment is more accepting of — and celebrates — differences. Consequently, parents don’t talk about their child’s education, they talk about their transformation.”
Adam is one of many Agora success stories. Born with a bilateral cleft palate, Adam faced teasing at private school. The teasing intensified in 7th grade when he switched to public school. There was so much focus on what was “wrong” with Adam that he went unnoticed and un-nurtured as an exceptionally bright student —until his mother made the switch to Agora. Without the distractions — the teasing, judgments, tension and daily fear of the classroom — Adam thrived academically and socially as he participated in the many face-to-face activities Agora provides.
“I get very emotional talking about Adam’s journey — his transformation — at Agora,” said Adam’s mother. “He adapted so well and excelled. We’ve been with Agora two years and it feels like forever because they are like family. The sky is the limit for my son.”
Enrollment at cyber charter schools is ongoing, so students can enroll at any time of the year. If your child is struggling with bullying or conditions that make conventional schools anything less than safe, nurturing and academically challenging environments, contact Agora and discover the advantages.
Agora Cyber Charter school is a tuition-free, online public charter school serving Pennsylvania residents in grades K-12. For more information visit www.agora.org or call 844-462-4672.