Character Education is a central part of the whole child approach to learning that takes place in the Elementary School at ACS Beirut. At ACS we take a proactive approach to helping students develop positive character traits that we hope will guide their actions throughout their lives. At the core of our Character Education work in the Elementary School are the following behaviors we emphasize each and every day:
Be in control
As children go about their work each day, and as they interact with their peers and teachers we ask them to consider these questions:
Is it Kind?
Is it True?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Safe?
Morning meetings, literature discussions, and direct teaching to the issues of character education and bullying, as well as daily interactions with faculty and staff are all used to relay our expectations and goals. Through a proactive approach to character we believe we have created and will continue to build a student body that displays positive character traits.
In spite of all our efforts to teach kids to practice our virtues, we know that kids make mistakes and need education and guidance in their interactions with their peers. This year the elementary school is taking on the issue bullying through a variety of actions. All teachers are teaching anti-bullying lessons in their classrooms. Several parent coffees have been held to inform parents of our initiative and to give them tools to help their children deal the issues related to bullying. Anti-bullying banners are hanging throughout the Elementary School. All elementary school parents, faculty and students will be asked to complete a survey to help us gauge the level of the issue, which will help us plan next steps. While we will never eliminate bullying from our school grounds, our goal is to create an environment where all members of our community, including students, act in a way that shows zero tolerance for bullying behavior.
Our definition of bullying is:
Bullying is conscious, willful and deliberate hostile activity intended to harm or frighten.
It usually has three common features: it is deliberate, hurtful behavior; it is often repeated; it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. It may involve an imbalance of power due to age, size or gender differences. There are three main types of bullying; Physical, such as hitting, kicking, taking belongings; Verbal, for example, name calling, insulting, racist remarks; and Relational; such as spreading nasty stories, excluding from groups.
How Will the School Respond to Incidents of Bullying?
Children in elementary school are learners. Our job is to teach them the skills, concepts, knowledge and that will help them be successful, contributing adults. This applies to their academics and to errors in their interactions with peers as well. Thus, when a student exhibits bullying behavior, our goal is to help them learn different and more productive ways to interact with their peers. After careful investigation of reports of bullying the administration will contact the parents of any children involved, including the child who bullied, the target of the bullying, and any bystanders who witnessed the incident in question. If it is determined that bullying took place consequences will include an apology to the target child and some action(s) by the bullying child to make the situation right. Depending upon a variety of factors, including age, the specifics of the situation, and the bullying child’s history of rule violations, further actions might include loss of privileges such as recess, in-house or out of school suspensions, and only in the most extreme case, expulsion from ACS.
Beirut | Rue de Paris, Jel El Bahr | P. O. Box 11-8129, Riad El Solh, Beirut | 1107 2260, Lebanon | Telephone: +961 (1) 374 370 | Fax: +961 (1) 366 050 New York Office | A. C. S., 3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza | 8th Floor | New York, NY 10017-2303 | U. S. A. | Telephone: +1 (212) 583 7634 | Fax: +1 (212) 583 7635