TRUMBULL – State Representatives Lawrence Miller (R-122), along with State Rep. Brenda Kupchick, State Senator Kevin C. Kelly (R-21) and State Rep. Tony Hwang (R-134) called on communities to work together to make schools a better environment for children.
2011 marked a great start to creating a standardized procedure to identifying and solving the too-common problem of bullying, and yesterday local leaders in government, community organizations and surrounding school systems gathered at the “Bullying Ends Here” public policy breakfast hosted by the Center for Women and Families at the Trumbull Public Library to talk about best practices and prevention methods when dealing with poor interactions between students.
“Ensuring that young people in Connecticut are able to pursue their education in a safe environment should always be the community’s number one focus. The student event at the Trumbull Library proves attitudes on bullying are changing, it will not be tolerated in any form,” said Rep. Miller.
“It was encouraging to see community and education leaders come forward to talk about an issue that can make or break our children,” said Rep. Kupchick. “We will only succeed if we handle bullying as a community. It’s everyone’s job: parents, educators, and peer groups together.”
“Last year’s bill is recognition that bullying is not limited to the school yard,” said Senator Kelly. “And, with social media such as Facebook, Twitter and texting, bullying is an even greater source of stress and anxiety for our children. While schools and law enforcement agencies will be responsible for identifying and addressing bullying, we cannot discount the value and role parents have to teach their children about bullying and to improve their child’s self esteem.”
With the internet and social media, so come endless opportunities for children to publically and anonymously post hurtful statements and rumors about others. It is paramount for adults to set a positive example for how to properly utilize the internet to communicate and explain the repercussions of misusing social media.
While bullying does not only occur at school, educators and administrators have a responsibility to enforce policies to protect the entire student body.
Rep. Kupchick concluded, “Our children must feel both safe and comfortable at school to succeed academically and reach their full potential. While we in the legislature have expanded the Bullying Law it also takes parents setting a good example and teachers and administrators working to ensure their schools are safe and bully free environments”
Legislation passed in 2011 established a “Safe School Climate Plan” that expanded the prior law on bullying. The law includes social media. It also provides every Connecticut school staff with training and instructions of how to handle bullying situations including what to look for, reports, investigations and meetings with parents.
The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County, Inc. provides high quality support and services to women and families. It serves the communities of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull. For more information, please visit their website at www.cwfefc.org.