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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.

— 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.

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