KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 8, 2022
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy ISD welcomes students to the 2022-2023 academic year next week. As families prep school supplies, back-to-school wardrobes, and enjoy the last days of summer it’s important to understand bullying and how to get help in Katy schools.
Katy Students Return to School Next Week
Katy ISD students return to class next Wednesday, August 17, 2022. The District serves over 90,000 students. A topic that many worry about is bullying, but the District has a clear message and clear process that Katy families need to know.
Student Safety is Top Priority
“Student safety and well-being are Katy ISD’s top priority,” says Edie White, Coordinator for School Leadership and Support at Katy ISD. “Bullying behavior is not tolerated on our campuses.”
White is the District's Coordinator for Bullying Prevention. She serves as a resource for Katy schools and parents who seek guidance or support in preventing or intervening in bullying incidents.
Students are encouraged to let someone know when they are being bullied. “Students at all grade levels should report bullying to a trusted adult on campus so the adult can immediately intervene,” says White.
How to Report Bullying
Students have access to many people they can tell and find help from such as their parent, teacher, counselor, coach, or campus administrator.
Katy ISD also has the SpeakUP app, which has been around since the 2019-2020 school year. The free app allows students, parents and community members to anonymously report bullying and other safety concerns.
SpeakUP is monitored by campus staff, district personnel, and Katy ISD police. All reports are investigated and handled according to district policies and procedures.
Students Must Report to Get Support, End Bullying Behavior
In April 2022, over 36,000 students in 3rd grade through 12th grade participated in a survey about their perceptions of safety and bullying. 18% of participating elementary students and 29% of secondary students perceived they may have been bullied and never reported the behavior.
“Katy ISD takes all reports of bullying very seriously; therefore, campus administrators must be made aware of the potential bullying situations to ensure each report is investigated in accordance with the Discipline Management Plan and Student Code of Conduct, and students are provided intervention and support, where needed,” says White.
Parents need to talk about bullying at home. According to White, these conversations should happen starting at a young age.
Talk to Your Children
“The more you talk to your children about bullying, the easier it will be for them to identify it and to share with you if they see or experience it,” says White.
Families can start a conversation by using teachable moments through books or television, through bullying examples that don’t involve them.
“This is a good way to open the door for difficult discussions and seeing an experience from a character’s point of view develops empathy,” explains White.
Every Katy ISD student has access to a school counselor and administrator that deal with social and emotional concerns in addition to academic matters.
Going into the new academic year, Katy families should discuss bullying and plan how to act if the situation occurs.
“The important thing is to let someone know so that an adult can take the necessary steps to intervene and ensure the bullying behavior stops,” says White.
The SpeakUp App is used to report bullying, drug use, and any safety concern. Learn more about it online.