CASS: CREATING A SAFE SCHOOL
"This is the way we do it here."The mission of the Lansing CASS program is to bring caring adults and students together to promote a positive social climate in the community.
CASS (Creating a Safe School) was started seven years ago in the Lansing School District. This program which was part of an Erie, Pa. based group called the Ophelia Project, addresses the issue of bullying and the three types of aggression – physical, verbal, and relational. The Ophelia philosophy states that the way to change behavior it to change the social norms accepted in both the school and the community. This long-term systemic change in the social norms starts first with awareness. Thus, part of CASS is training high school mentors to educate Middle Schoolers, specifically the 5th graders about what bullying and aggression is. The mentors meet with the 5th graders for a ninety minute introduction program and then follow up lessons are presented each month. This program is designed to help students find their voices and speak-up when confronted with a bullying situation.
Community involvement and education are essential for the CASS program to be successful. Last year information was available at building Open House programs. Community/Parent participation is welcomed and encouraged. To obtain more information contact the school or any member of the District Task Force (members are listed under Community Involvement on the left).