Crown Point Teacher Laura Uhly, stands with her students, Mollie Ingleston, Jacob Anderson, Marissa Sours, Zach Russell, Erik Dushane, Tyler St. Pierre, Timmy Huestis after presenting to the Bullying Prevention Workshop in Plattsburgh Nov. 10.
School members and parents came together to stand up to bullying and learn about anti-bullying tactics at the Bullying Prevention Workshop Nov. 10.
More than 85 members of local school boards, teachers, law enforcement agents and others attended Champlain Valley Education Services Bullying Prevention Workshop to learn more about the effects of bullying and how to prevent it in schools.
The event, held at the Champlain Valley Educational Services Instructional Center, was attended by more than 85 people.
CVES Safe Schools Healthy Students project administrator Wanda McQueen said the old “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me” mindset can have harmful consequences for the well-being of adolescents.
The workshop opened with seven Crown Point students showing an anti-bullying presentation they had put on for their school talent show last year. They publicly displayed through a Powerpoint who they were, how it felt when they were bullied, names they had been called and what they wanted most when they were at school.
The students said they had been called names like “fat,” “stupid,” “annoying” and “loud” when they would rather be called “funny,” “nice” and smart.
Crown Point teacher Laura Uhly said the group had taken it upon themselves to do this project and it was an eye-opening experience for the students who saw it.
“They were so brave, putting themselves out there like that, I was scared for them,” Uhly said.
However, the students were driven by more than fear and hope what they were doing could make a difference.
“Everyone was sick of getting bullied and we had to do something to stop it,” said student Timmy Huestis.
The seven students each said what they wanted most from school was to feel it was a safe place to learn, and for people to acknowledge their good qualities.
The students opening presentation set the tone for the workshop’s seminars, broken up into four sessions and aimed to train participants how to consistently handle problematic issues, such as cyber bullying, standing up to bullying, addressing bullying by age, and the psychological effects of bullying.
Moriah Central School elementary principal Valerie Stahl said she attended the workshop to get ideas for starting a bullying prevention team at the Moriah school. Stahl said she and others at the school saw a need for a bullying program and wants to address issues of name calling and other harmful activities at the school.
Most attendees were members of the Regional Task Force Against Bullying, a group charged with examining and evaluating current district/school policies, programs, and procedures to promote civil and ethical behavior among the school community. Its members include district attorneys, adolescent service consultants, members of law enforcement, mental health/prevention specialists, politicians, education and school board members, and parents.
The event received overwhelming registration, according to McQueen, with more than 85 in attendance.
“We had to cut off registration at 70 people; we thought we might get 50, we were hoping for 50,” said McQueen. “We worried we wouldnt have enough space for everyone, but people just kept coming, and we wouldn’t keep them out the people are really excited to hear about the bullying awareness strategies and how to help their students.”
McQueen said the more people involved and delivering a consistent message against bullying the more the faculty can strive to be an example against bullying. Thorough measures to address bullying in schools and outside school can strengthen a healthy learning environment for students.
Safe Schools Healthy Students hopes to hold more events in the future to promote anti-bullying tactics.