At Robert A. Taft Middle School, we practice an anti-bullying program derived from the Ophelia Project called CASS (Creating A Safe School). The Ophelia Project is a non-profit, volunteer organization located in Pennsylvania. This project provides education and intervention programs that address problems that teens today are facing in schools, home or at other teen functions. Some goals for the project include: creating multiple levels of mentoring relationships between adults and young people, fostering dialogue with young people so we can hear their voices and advocate for their needs, and collaborating with schools in creating a safe social climate for all children. We are proud to be the second school in Indiana to adopt this program. This program is “dedicated to creating a culture that is emotionally, physically, and socially safe, where children are respected and nurtured” (Ophelia Project-All the RAGE 3).
All grade levels at Taft participate in these bully-prevention activities/lessons once a month. 7th and 8th grade students do these activities/lessons during one of their class periods once a month. The 6th grade class lessons are facilitated by teachers and high school CASS mentors.
The Core Beliefs of the CASS Mentor Program are:
1. We CAN change the social climate in our schools. Peer aggression is everyone’s responsibility. We are all involved in addressing this issue.
2. Every member of the school community is valuable. Students, teachers, administrators, support staff and parents all work together toward creating safe social climates.
3. Mentorship is a powerful way to create safe social climates. Mentors have the ability to help others implement new normative behaviors and support healthy friendships.
4. The negative impact of peer aggression must be recognized and everyone must be held accountable for their actions. All forms of peer aggression are hurtful.
5. Prevention is the ultimate goal. We work toward the time when students enter our schools with normative beliefs that foster cooperation, respect and effective conflict resolution.
1. Aggression is everyone’s problem.
2. We treat everyone with respect and civility.
3. We are each accountable for our actions.
4. After we make a mistake, we make it right.
5. Adults help us deal with aggression.
6. We protect each other.