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Clinton County educators discuss bullying with community

The lecture ended with open forum when audience members asked the panel of educators from Beekmantown, Keeseville and Plattsburgh schools questions related to school policies against bullying.

The educators agreed bullying has been an issue for students at any age.

"This is not just a middle school and high school problem," said Keeseville Elementary School principal Kevin Hulbert.

The entire panel advocated listening to the students and utilizing mental health surveys in the classroom that can identify students mental perspectives.

The problem has not only worried educators and mental health officials, but parents as well.

Marla Wolkowicz, president of the Plattsburgh High School Community School Organization, said concerned parents should talk to other parents who may have had similar experiences. She said parents should come together and stand up for the child being bullied.

"Give them a sense of self and reassure them we are here," she said. "We are all in the situation together, and we all want the same outcome."

However, bullying can be hard to immediately identify, Bobbett said.

"A bully thrives on secrecy. Until we can break that code of silence, we are not going to be able to intervene," he explained. "Sometimes you have no idea why a student is behaving this way, and neither do they."

For more information about bullying, contact the Clinton County Health Department at 565-4840.

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