Calais Middle High School Hold Parent Bullying Workshop

Photo: Picture is Deb Landry who hosted a Bullying workshop for Parents on Monday night at Calais Middle/High School. Landry is a parent coach and also spends time helping develop laws against bullying and helping schools create action plans to lower bullying. After presenting her workshop Landry opened the floor to a question and answer period allowing parents to express any concerns they might have. (Photo by Kaileigh Deacon).

By Kaileigh Deacon

Bullying has becoming to the forefront of issues in schools around the country and Calais Middle and High Schools are taking actions to raise awareness and educate students, staff, parents, and the community. In this spirit the schools brought in Deb Landry for a teacher workshop a few weeks ago, then this past Monday they brought her back to host a parent night then to meet with the Middle School students. 

Before beginning Landry gave some background on herself and why she does this kind of work. “The reason I got started was because my child was bullied. He was hurting and I didn’t know what to do.” This led Landry to reach out and become involved in law making and education. Currently Landry works as a parent coach and helping schools develop plans and actions to combat bullying.  

Monday night Landry spoke to a group of parents and faculty about bullying and ways to identify it and the ways there are to help combat it. One of the first things Landry stressed was being able to identify what bullying is. 

“Bullying is intentional, repetitive, and always involves a perceived imbalance of power,” Landry said. Throughout the workshop Landry highlighted the characteristics of kids who might be bullies as well as those who might become victims of bullying. 

Also key were the 40 Developmental Assets which outlined ways that parents and teachers can support and encourage kids who might be victims of bullying. Some of top ways were to support kids by promoting healthy family, school, and community relationships. Landry stressed that safety was key in helping kids who a victims of bullying. Creating a safe school for them to go to and learn everyday as well as a safe home. It is also important that students have people they feel safe taking to, someone they can go to when they are having problems. 

Cyber bullying has become a bigger and bigger concern for schools and parents. Students get on the internet and can attack other students without the face to face contact and the unsupervised situation that it provides. For many students today cyber bullying can be more harmful than in person. It is easy to hide traces of cyber bullying as well as reaching large groups of people at once. 

Before the presentation concluded Landry presented the group with some of the statistics regarding bullying. Of Students who are bullied and threaten suicide 7% of those will follow through. 1 in 5 students are bullied and of those 1 in 5 only 65% will report the bullying to an adult. 

Incidents of bullying are increasing across the country and parents have to work with the schools. “Bullying has to be acknowledged before it can be addressed,” Landry stated in her presentation. The hope with this workshop and the one held on Tuesday for the students is to identify areas where the schools and parents can help make students feel safer.