Hazelden Expert Responds To School Bus Bullying Incident
CENTER CITY, Minn., June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hazelden, the nation's premier addiction treatment center and publisher of programs and school curricula for the prevention of youth violence (including bullying, dating abuse, and suicide, as well as drug and alcohol use prevention), said today that the disturbing and widely publicized school bus incident in Greece, New York, is a perfect example of a perfectly preventable situation.
"Why does this keep happening over and over, when we know what we need to do?" said James Dillon, a Hazelden author, retired school principal and bullying expert. "We need to shift from a reactive, discipline-only approach to a preventive, proactive, school-wide approach that gives kids the skills and tools they need to become empowered bystanders."
Dillon, of Schenectady, N.Y., is the author of "Peaceful School Bus" (Hazelden, 2008), a K-12 program that engages parents, faculty, teachers, bus drivers and monitors in team-building and mentoring exercises. The program's practical exercises give students the tools they need to recognize bullying and develop a sense of responsibility toward others, including younger children.
"What happened in New York is sadly indicative of the problems we're facing with bullying in general, but especially with bullying on the bus," Dillon said. "The research is clear: To prevent bullying, we need to empower kids and appeal to higher expectations so that they are ready and able to step forward in challenging situations."
Though "Peaceful School Bus" focuses on the problem of kids bullying kids (and the New York incident involved kids bullying an adult bus monitor), Dillon said the book's principles and practices have a much broader application. "These rules are not just for kids; the program involves the entire community, including paraprofessionals. Kids need to understand that everyone plays a role."
Hazelden publishes a broad range of bullying and violence prevention materials, including the "Olweus Bullying Prevention Program," which is used in more than 6,000 schools nationwide. Other publications include the "Respect Works" suite of materials to prevent teen dating violence.
For more information about Hazelden publications, go to violencepreventionworks.org. Or to schedule an interview with one of our bullying experts, please call 651-213-4231.
Hazelden, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1949, helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. Built on decades of knowledge and experience, Hazelden offers a comprehensive approach to addiction that addresses the full range of patient, family, and professional needs, including substance abuse treatment and continuing care for youth and adults, research, higher education, public education and advocacy, and publishing. Learn more at www.hazelden.org.
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