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October 5, 2013

Learn to prevent bullying through common verbiage

Workshop will explore dynamics of bullying.

With the introduction of Indiana codes requiring local schools to provide information of an updated bullying definition, an upcoming workshop will further help provide a common definition to help stamp out bullying.

Indiana Code requires schools to provide information about bullying to students, staff and parents. Bullying, according to IC 20-33-8-0.2, is unwanted, repeated acts or gestures or any other behaviors committed by a student or group of students with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate or harm the target and create an hostile school environment.

A workshop with guest speaker Nicole Hicks, regional program specialist for Indiana Resource Center for Families with Special Needs or IN*SOURCE, will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Peak Community Services, 1416 Woodlawn Ave.

The workshop, sponsored by the Logansport Support Group for Autism, is designed for parents and professionals to explore the dynamics of bullying and to learn what can be done to help children address the issue.

Hicks stressed the workshop will focus on students both with and without disabilities and also give a brief review of applicable laws and available resources.

Bullying can be visible, with physical behaviors such as hitting or name-calling, or it can be private, with emotional interactions such as gossiping or leaving someone out on purpose, according to PACER, founder of national bullying prevention month.

PACER provides resources and training this month, which is national bullying prevention month. It was through PACER and IN*SOURCE that Hicks and others received training about what bullying is, what can prevent it and what can be done once it begins. Information learned in training will be provided during the workshop Tuesday, Hicks said.

“An important thing is learning how to correlate with parents, teachers and professionals so everyone is using the same verbiage,” Hicks said. “Something might be seen as conflict, not bullying. We need to explain exactly what bullying is and then how to communicate that to the proper channels and administrators.”

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