On November 27, 38 students and six teachers from the Cardinal School District attended the first-ever anti-bullying summit in Des Moines.
The students, grades six through 12, volunteered to attend the conference and were able to attend four different seminars; "Bullying in the Digital Age", "Queen Bees and Wannabees: Teaching Social Competency", "The Culture of Mean" and "Leadership Makes the Difference". Cardinal's superintendent Joel Pederson also spoke on a panel.
Students and teachers learned to "do no harm" -- to others and to the school, and the methods are now being implemented into the day-to-day routine of Cardinal's students.
"We also are trying to teach that it's - take care of yourself, take care of others and take care of this place, because that's what do no harm is about," said Sara Swanson, guidance counselor at Cardinal Middle and High Schools. "And then we've also been teaching about the bullying circle, which is where you're at in the bullying circle, what you need to do to make changes and then also about how to report it and make sure you always tell an adult."
The Do No Harm sign is now displayed throughout the middle and high schools and are also available for parents or community members to have as well.
Swanson said since Cardinal is a one-to-one school, the district has also set up an anonymous way to report bullying that can be accessed by both students and parents.
The summit was hosted by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, and Swanson said she would love to take another group of students if and when the summit is held again next year.