A workshop on bullying prevention, entitled Bullying Exposed: Harassment, Bullying or Criminal Behavior?, will be conducted by Students Taking A Right Stand (STARS) for parents as well as middle school and high school teens on Wednesday, November 10 at 6:45 p.m. at Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 2419 Bethlehem Loop Road, in Franklin.
Open to the public and free of charge, the hands-on workshop will be divided into two separate sessions, one for parents and one for teens running concurrently, with an in depth look at bullying including prevention and protection steps. The workshop will be conducted by Rodger Dinwiddie, STARS executive director and a national Olweus Technical Assistance Consultant with Eric Johnson, associate executive director of STARS and Bethany Bratcher, STARS specialist.
Governor Phil Bredesen has proclaimed November 14-20 “Bullying Awareness Week” in Tennessee joining STARS in heightening awareness and offering steps to combat this tough issue. Dinwiddie said the workshop seeks to help define what is bullying behavior while offering parents and teens important safety precautions and empowerment techniques so bystanders can help eliminate bullying.
“So much of what is going on today which is gaining national attention is actually criminal behavior. We want to work with our STARS community to outline true bullying behavior and what kids and parents can do together to combat this disturbing trend,” Dinwiddie said. “We are also going to talk about helping kids and adults be good digital citizens with netiquette tips and ways to avoid being a victim of cyber-bullying.”
According to Gov. Bredesen’s proclamation, “bullying is considered aggressive behavior involving unwanted, negative actions, repeated behavior over time and involves an imbalance of strength. Nearly one in five students in an average classroom is experiencing bullying in some way with the rest of the students as affected bystanders. Students Taking A Right Stand (STARS) has been working over a quarter of a century helping students overcome tough social and emotional barriers to learning in order to equip students to deal effectively with this problem without taking drastic measures.”
Founded in 1984, STARS specialists operate in elementary to high schools serving more than 70 schools and community sites within a ten-county area. STARS specialists help students tackle tough social issues like cyber bullying, substance abuse, violence and peer pressure. In addition, their highly successful Kids On The Block puppetry program helps educate kindergarten through sixth grade students about health and social concerns that affect their lives while promoting an understanding and acceptance of all children and adults regardless of their differences. STARS is a nationally recognized resource for training and professional consultation.
For more information on attending the workshop, contact STARS at 615-279-0058 or visit www.starsnashville.org or www.bethlehemumc.com. In addition, Vince Gill & Friends are presenting a STARS Benefit Concert on Thursday, November 11 at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum being presented by CVS/Caremark.