Thursday, March 21, 2013

The battle against bullying

Bullying continues to be a growing problem, not only here in Delaware County, but across the region and nation.

Some people right here in Delco have seen and heard enough and are taking action to stop this issue in its tracks.

Tonight, the rest of you can join the battle.

There will be a special showing of the critically acclaimed movie, "Bully," in the auditorium at Springfield High School, followed by a public discussion on the issue. The presentation will run 7-9:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Last night we were proud to host a panel discussion on the issue on our 'Live From the Newsroom' live-stream Internet broadcast. If you missed the show, you can catch the replay here.

Our thanks to our panel:

Dan Tracy, principal at E.T. Richardson Middle School Springfield; Linda Ardao, former Springfield High School teacher for 35 years, co-founder of Main Line Youth Alliance and an educational consultant; Christine Belton, Springfield High School art teacher; and Matt Owens, ’97 Springfield High grad, Springfield School District electrician.

They painted a picture of kids and parents who are struggling with this new and growing dilemma, in particular the way it is now often manifesting itself through the use of social media.

I don't envy Dan Tracy. He has a tough job. He indicated not a day goes by that they are not dealing with some kind of bullying issue at the middle school level.

The goal of tonight's session is to empower students, parents and staff to raise their voices, both for a good cause, and for those who cannot.

I hope the place is packed. And I intend to make sure this newspaper continues to play a role in the solution.

We often cover the bullying incidents that make news. What I really want is to be able to use our various formats - print, online, this blog, opinion columns - to help solve the riddle of bullying. That's what last night's show was about.

It can be done, but it will take the entire community - students, parents and community members - to tame this beast.

You can take the first step tonight.

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