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'All Kids Deserve to Be Safe from Bullying': Jake's Story - NEA Today

9/25/15, 7:37 AM


News and Features from the National Education Association




! OCTOBER 7, 2014 9:07AM
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All Kids Deserve to Be

Safe from Bullying:
Jakes Story


How Much Education Reform

Can $100 Million Buy
Without Addressing Poverty?

When Implicit Bias Shapes

Teacher Expectations

On a sunny spring day last April on the steps of the state

capitol, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the Safe and
Supportive Minnesota Schools Act into law. Of the many


speakers at the ceremony, the crowd cheered the loudest for

11-year-old Jake Ross. Bullied mercilessly while in second
grade, Jake turned his hurt into action and became a tireless
advocate for toughening up his states anti-bullying law, one of
the weakest in the nation.


The Unexplored
Consequences of Student

NEA Delegates Honor

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'All Kids Deserve to Be Safe from Bullying': Jake's Story - NEA Today

9/25/15, 7:37 AM

Charleston Shooting Victims

and Move to Confront



Empowered Educators Raise

Their Hands for Student

The Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act is a

comprehensive anti-bullying bill that will require all schools in
the state to have an anti-bullying policy that clearly denes
bullying, harassment, and intimidation, provides training and


resources for students, sta, and volunteers and lays out

specic procedures school sta must follow when bullying is
To mark National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Jake
recently told his story to NEA Today, detailing his personal
struggle as a bullying victim and why he believes the new law
in his state will help reduce the problem.
When I was 7 years old and in 2nd grade I was the victim of ongoing and repeated bullying at the elementary school I
attended. The bullying included physical harm, verbal threats,
intimidation, and stealing.
One of the worst incidents was during lunch and recess on


February 2, 2010. While I was eating lunch at our assigned

classroom table in the cafeteria, one of the bullying students
stood up at the lunch table and said very loudly, Whos going
to help me beat up Jake today ?!


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'All Kids Deserve to Be Safe from Bullying': Jake's Story - NEA Today

9/25/15, 7:37 AM

Following lunch, outside at recess I was cornered and

attacked. I was pushed to the ground repeatedly. I tried to get
away, but I could not. When the recess whistle nally blew
and everyone went inside the school, the student who
attacked me yelled, Im going to kill you if you tell anyone! Im
going to kill you tomorrow! This made me feel scared



because I was afraid that he might try to seriously injure me


the next day. I was scared for many more days following this
attack, and I was scared about what was going to happen to
me next at school

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My mom was really worried about me at school, too. She ate

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lunch with me and came to recess. I told her about the harm
that was happening to me at school, and she reported these
things to the school ocials. The only consequence for the
two students who hurt me repeatedly was that they had to
apologize even though the bullying continued through the

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end of the school year. My mom asked the school ocial to

have the students moved to a dierent assigned table area in
the cafeteria the bullying usually happening at lunch and
recess but the answer was no. They told us they couldnt
because they had to think about the kids the bullies would
then be sitting by. Because of this, I had to sit by the students
who bullied me every day.

! SEPTEMBER 23, 2015 TIM

The Great Homework

Debate: Whats Getting Lost
in the Hype

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness
Month. Find out more at NEAs Bully-Free: It Starts With
Me campaign
( Resources

include the NEA Bullying Prevention Kit, 10 Steps to Stop

and Prevent Bullying and the Bully Free: It Starts With
Me pledge.


Where Are All the Black Male

! SEPTEMBER 20, 2015 TIM

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'All Kids Deserve to Be Safe from Bullying': Jake's Story - NEA Today

My mom had a meeting with the school ocials and asked to

see the schools policy and procedures for bullying. The
school ocial told her that there were no procedures and no
list of consequences for bullying at the school.
Because it would not provide a safe learning environment for
me, my parents took me and my younger sister out of this
I quickly learned how common bullying is for so many
students and I became involved in anti-bullying awareness. I
know what its like, and I didnt want it to happen to any more
kids. All kid deserve to be safe from bullying.

9/25/15, 7:37 AM


Despite Proven Benets,

Starting School Later
Remains a Tough Sell

What It Takes to Build a Truly

Equitable Education System

My role in advocating for the Safe and Supportive Minnesota

Schools Act was as a spokesperson for children and youth who
have been bullied in schools. I publically told my story of

! SEPTEMBER 15, 2015 TIM

having been bullied, lobbied at the Minnesota State Capitol

TABOR Lives On: How the

during the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions and testied in

War on Public Education

favor of the bill at committee hearings. I have been fortunate

to get to know Senator Scott Dibble, who co-sponsored the
Safe and Supportive Schools Act. He is a role mode for me. I
also wrote newspaper guest commentary articles and lettersto-the-editor on Why I support the Safe and Supportive

Becomes Irreversible

Minnesota Schools Act. These were published in our local

newspapers. I also collected over 500 petition signatures in
support of the bill. At local community events, I provided
information about the bill. I am still involved in advocating for
the law and its implementation in schools.

Select Category

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'All Kids Deserve to Be Safe from Bullying': Jake's Story - NEA Today

9/25/15, 7:37 AM

The Safe and Supportive Schools Act will help protect
students from bullying by changing the idea that bullying is
just something that happens to kids to bullying is something
that hurts kids and it is not acceptable. This new law creates
the mindset that schools should be safe and inviting places for

all students, and that all students are accepted and valued.
I think the best parts of the new law are the enumerated
protections and the use of restorative justice practices.
Enumerated protection is important because it protects those
students who are likely to be bullied more often and more
severely. It sends the message that its not O.K. to bully
anyone, even if they are dierent from you.
Restorative justice practices are an important part because
punishing the bully without teaching anything will not help
stop the behavior over the long term. The bully may continue
the hurtful behavior throughout their school years and into
their adult years.

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'All Kids Deserve to Be Safe from Bullying': Jake's Story - NEA Today

9/25/15, 7:37 AM

Restorative Justice helps all those involved in bullying

situations by getting to the reason why the bullying happened,
and coming to an agreement that helps everyone stop the
harmful behavior and repair the harm that was done, so
healing can happen. All those involved, including the people
harmed, witnesses, the harm-doer, community members, etc.
come together and use a process that works through the
problem and reaches a consensus at the end that all agree to.
This is how bullying situations can be dealt with in a way that
actually puts an end to the harm.
I would tell three main things to kids who are being bullied.
First, know that it is not your fault. No one should blame you
for the harm that is happening to you. Bullying is a form of
abuse, and anyone who is being abused needs help from
others. Second, tell a trusted adult about the bullying. This
could be your parent, other caring adult in your life, a teacher,
coach, church youth leader. Finally, hang around with other
students who are nice as much as you can.
Video: Jake Ross at Safe Schools Bill Signing
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'All Kids Deserve to Be Safe from Bullying': Jake's Story - NEA Today


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Teachers and Their Classrooms:
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POST TAGS: Jake Ross (,
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Comments Community



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John Dalton

a year ago

I have to somewhat agree with Jane Dodson on her

comments. I was bullied all through grade school and into
junior high. I know first hand how bullies operate. they have
one eye on you, and the other on the teacher(s). they bully
incognito. and as far as anyone seeing this happen?, more
than likely I'll bet half the playground saw it!? but, no one
will come forward to testify as to this happening, because
they know if they do, they will at one point somewhere,
sometime, in the near future, be visited by this bully (and
possibly his buddies too) for reporting him. so even though

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'All Kids Deserve to Be Safe from Bullying': Jake's Story - NEA Today

9/25/15, 7:37 AM

the bully only picked on one person, he is simultaneously

intimidating the rest of the kids in the area. the rest of the
kids are probably thinking, "I don't want this to happen to
me!". so they don't say anything to anyone about the
Yes!, I could go on all day with this subject!!


Reply Share

14 days ago

i agree with you guys but when i first started at a new school
i was and still am bullied and homecomeing for my school is
comeing up what to do!

Reply Share

Jane Dodson

a year ago

This happened at recess? Where were the adults? Did

someone lose their job over this? Someone yells out inside
during lunch about harming another and no adult is
Must be a big school, so many kids no adult saw a kid
getting beat up at recess baes me. When they lined up, or
went back into the classroom, no blood? no dirt? no torn
clothes? No adult noticed?
Very disturbing.

Reply Share

Trinity123 > Jane Dodson

14 days ago

A B O U T N E AT O D AY.O R G ( / A B O U T / )
N E A P R I VAC Y P O L I C Y ( H T T P : / / W W W. N E A .O R G / H O M E / 8 2 9 . H T M )
T E R M S O F U S E ( H T T P : / / W W W. N E A .O R G / H O M E / 8 2 1 . H T M )

( H T T P : / / W W W. N E A .O R G )
C O P Y R I G H T 2 0 1 5 N AT I O N A L E D U C AT I O N A S S O C I AT I O N ( H T T P : / / W W W. N E A .O R G ) .

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