Poe Center offering bullying education for parents, adults

Staff Report

The Poe Center for Health Education is coming to Elkin May 17 to offer a bullying prevention education program for adults and parents in the community.

In order to decrease bullying behavior, two myths must be debunked: 1. Bullies are born and not made and 2. Bullying rates are consistent throughout our nation’s schools. The first myth implies that bullying behavior cannot be prevented, and that once a bully always a bully. Thankfully this is not the case.

Bullying behavior is preventable and can be unlearned. The second myth also implies that bullying behavior is not preventable, in that, despite strong prevention policies and diversity, bullying will happen at the same rate. In reality, bullying rates vary widely across schools. According to the Youth Truth Survey, schools with the least bullying report rates as low as 12 percent, and schools with the highest rates report a percentage of 59 percent.

These numbers provide hope. With positive adult modeling and school climate, schools can move the needle to decrease bullying. Additionally the Youth Truth Survey revealed that the majority of bullying incidents happen in person (verbal, social, and physical), with online bullying accounting for 25 percent of incidents; although, cyberbullying often will move to in-person bullying.

Another key finding was that of the 80,000 students surveyed 1 in 4 had personally experienced bullying, and that almost half believed the bullying occurred because of how they looked. Understanding that bullying behavior is preventable and that adults play a pivotal role in modeling prosocial behavior, provides hope that all schools have potential to significantly lower bullying rates.

The Youth Truth Survey was conducted with 80,000 students in fifth through 12th grade.

The Poe Center will offer the “Bullying Uncovered: What Parents & Other Adults Need to Know” program, an interactive program targets parents, caregivers and adults that work with upper elementary, middle school and high school youth.

Bullying Uncovered explores bullying definitions, statistics, and trends, including cyberbullying. Through small group activities, participants will learn how positive adult modeling and school climate impacts bullying prevention.

The 90-minute program is designed for adults ages 18 and older and will be held May 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Elkin High School, 334 Elk Spur St., Elkin.

Staff Report