WBUR radio, Boston’s NPR news station, visited the Annie Sullivan Middle School in Franklin to gauge the impact of the state’s bullying legislation. They learned that Principal Beth Wittcoff expects folks at Sullivan Middle to take action when they witness such things as snickering or teasing, which psychologists call “gateway behaviors” that can precede bullying.
It’s one new element of the respectful community Wittcoff said she’s always tried to foster for her students, through assemblies, clubs and communication.
“They need to feel safe in order to learn,” Wittcoff said. But, she adds, only since the new law passed has she deliberately focused those efforts on bullying prevention.