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Bullying Prevention Workshop Addresses Growing Concern

Nathan Heffel

Some 200 state teachers, administrators, and mental health professionals participated in a school bullying prevention workshop Thursday in Thornton. The workshop addressed new ways education professionals can foster a positive and safe climate in all Colorado schools.

Chris Harms is Director of the Colorado School Resource Center. She says the training also focused on a new state law passed last year that strengthens anti-bullying efforts [.pdf].

“This is our fourth bullying institute around the state educating people about the new law and the cutting edge information for prevention and intervention in the schools. We’re excited the schools are on board and that we have the great turnout we have today.”

The new law puts more responsibility on adults to work directly to solve the bullying problem by establishing new codes of conduct for training teachers and recording incidents of bullying.

According to a 2009 state study, nearly 19 percent of high school students in Colorado reported being bullied on school grounds. Another 20 percent reported being cyber bullied. Erin Sullivan with the Colorado Department of Education says this is concerning.

“The big importance here is the fact that it’s not a one magical wand type thing to fix this. This is not a new issue so it’s really important to look at it from a systems perspective and from social emotional learning to more intensive level support.”

The training is co-sponsored by the Colorado School Safety Resource Center of the state Department of Public Safety; the Colorado Department of Education; the Colorado Legacy Foundation; the Anti-Defamation League; One Colorado; the Gill Foundation; and the Aurora Public Schools.

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