School Bullies: A Little Philosophy For Children Can Go A Long Way

Robert Pollack via Flickr

Editor's Note: This is the second story of an occasional series on bullying in Hawaii schools. Bullying is more of a problem in Hawaii than in many other states yet Hawaii officials struggle to address it.

Hawaii school officials may be reluctant to talk about the state's stunning statistics on bullying, but teachers say effective programs have been unearthed that could serve as models for the rest of the district.

Philosophy for Children, which promotes peace in the classroom, is one example. Kailua High School and Waikiki Elementary have successfully deployed it and educators point at a profound shift in the learning environment over the past decade.

Chad Miller, Hawaii's 2012 Teacher of the Year, said when he started working at Kailua, fights were a weekly occurrence. Eight years later, he said fighting on campus has become rare.

"Bullying is what we see, but the problem is below the surface," Miller said. "It's this lack of skills."

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