News and Events

St. Petronille School Launches Bully Prevention Program

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Join Us for the Kickoff on October 9th Glen Ellyn, IL.

This Fall, St. Petronille School is launching an innovative combination of programs to address bullying, prevent future bullying and improve peer relations within the school culture to make it a safer, more positive place for students to learn and develop. These three programs, Olweus (pronounced Ol-VAY-us) Bully Prevention Program, Watch D.O.G.S. Dads and Jarrett Payton of the Payton Foundation, each have a proven track record of success in addressing issues of bullying and peer relations.

The programs also support the school’s commitment to building student character and shaping students into good citizens who become exemplary members of our community. Our very first graduating class’ mission statement is "Character is the Cornerstone of All Success" and St Pets wants to continue this 90 year tradition of promoting this.

“Bullying has become a pervasive challenge throughout this country;” explains Maureen Aspell, Principal, St. Petronille, “Our focus at St. Petronille is to provide an environment wherein students celebrate individual God given strengths. The Olweus program builds upon our mission to respect life on all levels, in small and larger interactions with one another. Research shows that when students know they are cared for their success and accomplishments in and outside of the classroom are greater.”

“We are proud to join a handful of other Catholic schools in the area in introducing the Olweus program in our school.” Aspell says. “We chose this program based on their 35 years of experience and success in addressing this critical public health issue, and because their approach aligns with our ongoing focus on building student character and community.”

The Olweus Bully Prevention Program is not a traditional classroom curriculum. It is designed as a whole-school, systems-change program at four different levels: school-wide, classroom, individual and community. Aspell says, “With the Olweus training, our staff is unified with a common language, having a better understanding of how to respond to negative social behaviors. This new program is a fantastic tool that has helped us on so many levels!” Statistics show that successful implementation of the program can reduce school bullying by up to 70%. The kickoff meeting will be held at the St. Petronille Parish Life Center on October 9th at 1:30 pm.

“We are introducing the Watch D.O.G.S. program at the same time to strengthen the presence of dads in the school environment,” Aspell adds. “By having volunteer dads in the school during school hours, we hope to demonstrate their commitment to a positive social environment and to education as a whole.”

“And, finally, we are very excited to host Jarrett Payton of the Payton Foundation this October to help engage and motivate our students even more—not just to stop bullying behavior but to truly strive to make the world a better place. We think his messages of passion, respect and involvement delivered in such an enthusiastic and motivating way will serve as a capstone to this integrated effort.” Jarrett Payton will be speaking on October 23rd in the St. Petronille School Gymnasium at 9:00 am.

“Community plays such an important role in the effectiveness in these types of programs. We not only want to teach our students within our walls of the school, but we want to inspire our families and community to join us in making kindness the leading characteristic in our community.” Aspell says. “We hope that the press and the community join us for the Kickoff on October 9th and to see Jarrett Payton on October 23rd.”

For more information:


Maureen Aspell, Principal or Tricia Weis, Asst. Principal
St. Petronille School
425 Prospect Ave
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

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