Bullying, Suicide Prevention Expert to Speak to Fulton Parents

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FULTON - Scott Poland, a nationally-known expert on school safety and crisis prevention, spent Friday afternoon speaking with Fulton Public School's staff about school safety and crisis prevention. The speaker will also give a similar presentation to parents Friday night at 6 p.m.

Superintendent of Public Schools Jacque Cowherd invited Poland to speak following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Conn. and the onset of social media bullying in recent years.

The goal of the staff training and parent presentation is to better prepare to stop bullying and the consequences that arise from it, some of which can be linked to school shootings and suicide.

Cowherd told KOMU 8 News the effect of suicides on his school district was one of the main driving forces behind the decision to hold a staff training. "We have had some suicides in the community, in Callaway County in general, and when something happens in the county they tend to touch every school district," he said.

Friday's presentation will dive deep into ways to identify at-risk behaviors in their children, how to recognize and reduce bully behaviors, and how to best support their children if they are a target of bullying. The presentation is called "Parenting in a Challenging World."

Friday served as a professional development day for staff, and students had the day off.

The parent presentation begins at 6 p.m. at Fulton High School.