Bullying Prevention Conference Draws 70 to Bruce M. Wright Memorial Conference Center

October 23, 2014

by Timothy W. Scee II
Special to Newzjunky.com

Orange was the color to wear Wednesday at the Bruce M. Wright Memorial Conference Center as dozens gathered at a bullying prevention conference sponsored by the Northern Regional Center for Independent Living.

A group of nearly 70 school officials, parents and students learned about several ways to combat the issue, including cyberbullying, along with information about the Dignity for All Students Act signed into law by former Gov. David A. Paterson in 2010.

NRCIL Parent Training and Information Coordinator Richelle M. David said the six-hour event at the Faichney Drive facility attracted individuals from as far away as Onondaga County to hear attorney Julie M. Keegan, Disability Rights New York, Albany and John P. Warneck, retired coordinator of health and safety services at the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services, speak about the issue.

“It’s geared toward all school representatives, parents, families, service providers, anyone who works with kids and kids with disabilities,” she said.

Ms. Keegan spoke during a morning session about the state legislation, which did not fully take effect until 2012, which seeks to increase tolerance among students throughout the state’s public primary and secondary schools.

Ms. David said the former BOCES employee spoke in the afternoon about how that legislation, and other laws, would specifically affect school districts.

A follow-up free conference about managing school anxiety and avoidance for students with disabilities will be held 9:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Nov. 5, at the Charles H. Bohlen Technical Center, 20104 Route 3, sponsored by the Northern Tier Special Education Task Force.

“The reason we’re following up from the bullying is because the kids that are being bullied typically will avoid school when possible because it is such a heightened emotional time for them,” Ms. David said.

Topics will include identifying student risk factors, how to help students with anxiety and avoidance and encourage school reintegration.

Individuals interested in attending the conference may register by visiting http://goo.gl/g9li66.  The registration deadline is Oct. 31.

The color orange was chosen by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to represent bullying prevention and awareness.

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