April 2, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Election Day is Tuesday, April 3 and there are quite a few races on the ballot for neighbors in Washington County.
In West Bend there are four candidates vying for two seats on the school board. During a recent sit down with Monte Schmiege, Chris Zwygart, Kurt Rebholz and Mary Weigand the topics discussed were bullying and upcoming proposed referendums.
Thoughts on bullying in the district and how to resolve it.
Monte Schmiege – It is something I would like to find out more about it. I had asked the superintendent and for information from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, that I voted against, because there are questions in there on bullying but I guess the district has not taken the survey yet. I would find out from that. I don’t have any information and it wouldn’t come to my attention unless there was some severity and I can’t judge what I don’t know. (Click HERE for YRBS survey)
Chris Zwygart – One of the most important things we can do is make sure we have an administration and teachers that are aware of it and well trained at recognizing it because the best place to identify it is on the front lines. We need to make sure we’re equipping the teachers and the faculty with the right tools; the earlier we intervene the better. I don’t have information to think it’s rampant but we’d be naive to think it’s nonexistent. Talk to experts so we can identify issues underlying the bullying.
Kurt Rebholz – I saw a buddy bench at Jackson and that’s a great idea. It’s a concern of teachers and parents and students and we have to get everyone to stand up and fight against bullying. I try to talk to my daughter every day to sit with new people at lunch. It’s the students, teachers and parents that will help affect bullying and change going forward. We have to talk about it and address it.
Mary Weigand – Teachers need to set the example of being cooperative and getting along and I think some of the curriculum, I go back to engage New York, really goes back to pitting one group of people against another; disharmony. If we can get back to better curriculum that teaches respect and character building and getting people to work together – that’s a big part of bullying. We should have no tolerance for bullying. Every child needs to go to school and everyone needs to feel like they will be protected by the teachers and the principals.
Part 2 of the interview regarding referendums in the West Bend School District is available by clicking HERE.