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Texas School Safety Center hosts 'Texas Bully Prevention Summit'

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
September 12, 2013

The Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University (TxSSC) will host the “Texas Bully Prevention Summit” 8 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the Embassy Suites in San Marcos.

The summit is the first of its kind in Central Texas, designed to inform and empower administrators, educators and school personnel with the skills they need to create safer learning environments for all. The inaugural Texas Bully Prevention Summit is co-sponsored by the TxSSC, College of Education and the Center for Families and Children.

A growing awareness and concern regarding the prevalence of bullying in schools has come to the forefront of public attention. Texas educators consistently turn to the TxSSC for training and resources on bullying prevention. In response, the center has collaborated with other departments and centers on campus to organize the Texas Bully Prevention Summit so that school personnel can receive training on best practices pertaining to bullying identification, prevention, response, and intervention.

The TxSSC serves as the central location for the dissemination of safety and security information, including research, training, and technical assistance for K-12 schools and junior colleges throughout the state of Texas. The center provides services to students, educators, administrators, campus-based law enforcement, community organizations, state agencies and post-secondary institutions to increase safety and security in Texas schools.

"Bullying continues to be a persistent problem among youth. It’s important for everybody to be educated about the devastating impact bullying can have, as well as proactive strategies to deal with bullies in schools," said event coordinator David Wiley, a professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at Texas State. "We hope this event will be the first of many to start the discussion about bullying prevention in Texas schools."

Cynthia Arredondo, a manager in the TxSSC, serves as the center’s point of contact for the summit, under the guidance of Curtis Clay, associate director of the TxSSC Division of Training and Educational Services.

"The Texas School Safety Center is committed to offering current, evidenced-based, best practices is school-centered bully prevention that may be implemented in any school district, regardless of size or resources," said Victor Calder, the director of the TxSSC.

The Texas Bully Prevention Summit will include breakout sessions on laws and policies regarding the roles of educators in bully prevention, the underlying causes of bullying, understanding child development, and on bully prevention research, trends and practices.

"One of our district’s top priorities is providing a safe environment for all of our students," said San Marcos CISD Superintendent Mark Eads. "An environment that is free from bullying is in everyone's best interest. Our administrators, counselors, and teachers are committed to making this happen."

The summit will also include a viewing of the acclaimed documentary “Bully.” The documentary goes inside of U.S. schools to capture the prevalence and effects of bullying. The film highlights the Long family from Georgia whose son Tyler tragically took his own life in 2009 after enduring years of bullying. The Long family will be in attendance at the summit in San Marcos, and they will participate in a Q&A panel session with the attendees.

For more information contact Martin Zavala at mz13@txstate.edu or call (512) 245-2936.