Mount Union Hosts Anti-Bullying Event

October 16, 2012

ALLIANCE, Ohio — The University of Mount Union hosted two anti-bullying films and a panel discussion on Wednesday, October 10 in the Mount Union Theatre.

Films shown were “Bullied: A Student, a School, and a Case That Made History” and ABC Primetime Special “Cyber Bullying: Cruel Intentions.”

After the screening, the panel discussion featured local experts and school personnel. Panelists were Stephen Fowler, M.Ed., Alliance High School assistant principal; Matt Shatzer, Alliance Police detective; Susan Michael, M.S.Ed., Society for the Prevention of Violence and Dr. Bobbi L. Beale, group programs director for Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health.

Michael shared her opinion on bullying and a strategy she learned that can stop bullying and save lives. Her strategy is based on including the bully, the victim and supervisors when confronting the situation.

“It empowers victims to stand up to bullies,” Michael explained. “It’s a stop gate for bullies and a first line of defense for victims.”

More information about the strategy is included in her new book, “Stop the Bullying Now!”

Shatzer also shared his experiences with bullying within the Alliance community. He reassured the audience that it is okay to monitor their children on the internet because it ensures their safety. Keeping the computer in a centralized place and removing secret passwords is also beneficial in avoiding cyber bullying. A parent’s knowledge and regulation of internet usage can help the child if he or she is ever bullied.

The panel agreed that teachers need to be aware of bullying and observe students’ behavior and should be the eyes and ears for the children who are faced with bullying. They also mentioned that creating curriculum and tools about bullying will give the children knowledge and empowerment.

The event was presented by a collaborative of Dr. Sarah Torok, associate professor of psychology at the University of Mount Union, the University’s Ralph and Mary Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement and Synergy Alliance.

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