It's about 1 am and I am gathering my thoughts on what I experience last night. I had a wonderful night at Jirani Coffee House in Manassas, VA and learned some great information and heard some great stories about Bullying and Anti-Bullying prevention from some great organizations, amazing parents, and educators. It was truly a wealth of knowledge to hear their amazing stories and get their input! I am getting excited to know that we are at the forefront of some great ideas to tackle the epidemic that has been hurting our children, not only the victim but the bully as well. They are coming up with some innovated ideas to help heal and learn what we can do to teach our children, parents, and educators to succeed and learn to heal in some psychologically healthy ways, which has truly blown me away!
One organization that is looking to stop bullying in its tracks here in Prince William County is the Prince William County Student Assistance & Prevention Program with the new - NO PLACE FOR HATE, which was established in our Prince William County Schools. This program was started in the Regional offices of Washington D.C for assistance to help Prince William County Schools and was formed as the bases of the Student Assistance & Prevention Programs. It is being included slowly to see how it will handle in certain county schools. The Prince William County Supervisor of Suicide and Student Prevention Alliance, Richmond Hill was fervid and having faced bullying in the past as a child, he understood many of the same hurdles and knew many of the heartfelt needs of those in the room. Richmond says, "although many of these programs are there and available many parents are not aware, we want to ensure we get the help of those who can promote like community programs, organizations, and young people." For more information on these and other school programs please contact the division of Student Assitance & Prevention Programs at 703-791-7436.
Another great organization that was there was PAYTON'S PROJECT. Payton Rose Freeze was 17 years of age and due to the pressures of bullying and cyber-bullying, took her own life on February 10, 2016. Her father Mr.Freeze was there commemorating her life by sharing her experiences, his love for his daughter and the families experiences. His love is helping ignite a spark for Payton's Project to help many other families and kids facing cyberbullying, bullying and issues of depression. As quoted on Payton's Projects website, " Payton had just told her father the day before she took her own life that she was being bullied at school. The Freeze family believes that this, combined with the fact that Payton was found to have been suffering from CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, contributed to her death.
One of their youth answered a wonderful question posed by their instructors, HOW CAN YOU PREVENT BULLYING- he said "by speaking up, if you see someone tell a parent it's not hard." Truly on our way to a preventive success, thank you Youth Center Stage for doing all you can to help our kids have a wonderful peer on peer healthy communication and always keeping an open line of communication with their parents. If you need more information about YouthCenterStage.com and more about their programs please visit their site at www.youthcenterstage.com