Bedford — Robin Davis says children need to learn empathy in order for bullying to end in schools.The Colleyville Heritage High School crisis counselor shared what the Grapevine-Colleyville School District is doing to prevent bullying at a discussion hosted by the Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities. Davis spoke alongside staff members from the Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Fort Worth and Birdville school districts. About 25 people attended the meeting at the Old Bedford School in Bedford.Davis said GCISD is expanding its life skills program to help teach children empathy. A lot of kids do not have that foundation. They cant put themselves in somebody elses shoes, she said. Somehow weve missed that.Davis said the Grapevine-Colleyville school district has groups and processes to report and prevent bullying on its campuses.Its been nice to see all the changes that are happening in regards to creating safe places for our kids, she said.The district promotes Friends for Life, a Tarrant County Crime Stoppers program in which students provide tips and receive information about bullying, gang activity, family violence and more via text and email. She said this makes it easier for students to report incidents rather than go to the office to fill out a paper form.The teachers are also getting schooled. Davis said all district employees are educated on how to recognize bullying.She said bullying can be happening anytime of the day or night via text and social media.It can be very covert, she said. There are things that are happening right before a teachers eyes and maybe they are not aware. The panel was the kick off to Cathedral of Hope Mid-Citiess Journey Toward Justice town hall series, which aims to tackle various social topics with experts and the community.All our kids need adult allies and our teenagers need allies too, said Mary Jo Kaska, Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities leadership advisory team member.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli