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Anti-bullying starts with healthy school environment, experts say

Teachers, others come together to learn more about ways to prevent bullying in local schools

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.

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. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— 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.

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