Lighthouse School has provided services to special children and their families for over 50 years. Many changes have occurred over this time, both within Lighthouse School and in the world. What has remained absolutely constant, however, is the belief that students’ emotional needs are at the center of our mission. Lighthouse School is a school and a treatment center. Academic achievement, although important, is not our highest priority. Long-term clinical growth generalized across life context is our highest priority. APEX is a unique biodevelopmental, or life developmental program that all staff are trained in and that forms the foundation of our services. Lighthouse School is a corporation dedicated to helping students overcome the dysfunctional patterns of social/emotional/behavioral functioning that bring them to us and to helping them to acquire the skills and insights that will allow them to be successful in life.
At its core, bullying represents a pathological pattern of interpersonal interaction. The need for formal plans suggested a widespread belief that schools had not been attentive enough to these and other related issues regarding the emotional functioning and needs of their students. One can only hope that the tragic events that brought us to this point will ultimately lead to a social consensus that schools can play, and indeed should play, a powerful and positive role in the emotional well-being and growth of their students. We designed our bullying prevention plan as both a reflection of our historical belief in that principle and as an example of our current application of these principles.