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Dave’s Morning Blog: A Recording for Ombudsman LCSD#1?

Well, it looks like Laramie County School District #1 has made a choice to continue it’s school bullying ombudsman program, but with UPLIFT? Really?

Here is the Districts press release about this decision:

Officials at Laramie County School District 1 have announced plans to continue offering bullying ombudsman assistance for families in the community as part of the district’s overall package of services offered to address bullying and provide for safe schools.

The ombudsman advocacy service will be provided through UPLIFT, a family support network dedicated to the hope, health, and well-being of Wyoming children and families. This service will complement the existing prevention programs and problem-solving efforts of the district.

“An ombudsman is available to advocate and support kids and families during instances when people believe their concerns have not been addressed through standard processes,” said Dr. Mark Stock, LCSD1 superintendent of schools.

If parents or students are not comfortable speaking with school personnel and would like to use the ombudsman service, concerns about bullying may be shared with Dr. Lee Neeley, program evaluator and school violence facilitator with Safe and Drug Free Schools, 771-2255. They may also contact UPLIFT at 778-8686, which is a third-party organization not compensated by LCSD1.

“We want students and their families to know that we take bullying seriously,” said LCSD1 Board Chairman Brian Farmer. “The ombudsman service offers families an outside advocate, someone they can talk to who can relay their concerns to district administrators and employees. For the past 20 years, UPLIFT has had a tradition of successful parent and child advocacy in our community. Their services are now provided throughout the state of Wyoming.”

In the area of prevention, as previously announced, LCSD1 employees are in the midst of training for two research-based bully-prevention programs—Olweus for kindergarten through eighth-grade students and Safe School Ambassadors for ninth- through 12th-grade students.

In addition, concerns about bullying may be shared with a classroom teacher, school counselor/social worker and the principal.

District officials are working with staff to ensure concerns will be taken seriously and immediate follow-up will occur with parents and students.

Bullying concerns may also be shared at the administrative level with the assistant superintendent or superintendent of schools.

Finally, those who witness a bullying incident and wish to remain anonymous are encouraged to call the WeTip School Safety Hotline, which recently added a bullying component to their services.

The service is provided for all Wyoming schools and fees are paid by the Wyoming Department of Education. Information is forwarded to the Office of Risk Management. That which is criminal in nature also goes to appropriate law enforcement officials. WeTip hotlines are answered by bilingual tip operators 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The bullying hotline can be reached by calling 1-855-862-8559.

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Now it interesting to note that the release says, UPLIFT has had a tradition of successful parent and child advocacy in our community. Their services are now provided throughout the state of Wyoming.” What seems to be missing is any discussion about UPLIFTS overall credentials and experience with dealing with bullying situations. When we tried to call UPLIFT, we got a recording and could leave a message, and by the way, the same thing happened when we called the WE-TIP line shortly after 5PM.

Just sayin’…seems like a live contact line might be a lot more successful than a recording. Oh, and, ummm LCSD#1, would you mind telling us what qualifies UPLIFT to do the job you hired them to do and, umm, how much is this costing the taxpayer?

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