Missouri Anti-Bullying Workshop Reveals Growing Concerns
COLUMBIA - The Missouri School Boards Association sponsored an anti-bullying workshop Thursday in Osage Beach to discuss growing trends associated with school bullying.
The sixth floor of Tan Tar A Resort was the scene of this year's Identifying Effective Strategies to Prevent Bullying Workshop, where members of the public learned from experts the signs and proper preventative measures of bullying.
The U.S. Department of Education reports that nearly ten percent of school-related accounts of bullying occur on bus rides. Talks of how to challenge and recognize signs of bullying to and from school were noted as a general concern for parents attending the workshop.
Keynote speaker Scott Poland is part of the psychology faculty and the co-director of the Suicide and Violence Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fl.
Poland said experts are more concerned with the growing link between suicide and bullying in school and work-related settings.
"I talked about this relatively new term. The term is 'bullycide'," Poland said. "Very quickly, often the media story implies that they were bullied and victimized; they died by suicide and that is why. Actually, the suicide of a young person is very complex. They've traveled a long road."
Dr. Lynne Lang is the director of school climate for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and attended the Prevent Bullying Workshop. The following video underlines Lynne's religious-oriented vision for seeing bullying removed completely from schools and the workforce.
Poland said that experts report nearly one-third of all U.S. students are victims of bullying. This gives rise to the question if victims of bullying were once or currently act as bullies themselves? He said this creates a dichotomy between both bully and victim, in which one of those subjects takes on the role of being a 'victim perpetrator'.
"The person who's a bully in one situation and they're the victim in the other," Poland said. "And again, this raises the question for the need, not just to have bullying prevention programs in Missouri schools, but to also include suicide prevention..."
For more information on anti-bullying measures, visit the Missouri Center for Education's website.