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Lowellville’s Bullying Information Night for Parents and Students

James+DeLucia+from+the+Mahoning+Valley+Court+begins+the+presentation+by+outlining+healthy+relationships+with+the+help+of+the+audience.
James DeLucia from the Mahoning Valley Court begins the presentation by outlining healthy relationships with the help of the audience.

James DeLucia from the Mahoning Valley Court begins the presentation by outlining healthy relationships with the help of the audience.

Nathan Williams

Nathan Williams

James DeLucia from the Mahoning Valley Court begins the presentation by outlining healthy relationships with the help of the audience.

Nathan Williams, Contributor

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On Wednesday, April 26th, Lowellville’s Parent Advisory Committee  on Bullying (PAC) hosted the Bullying Information Night presented by members of the Mahoning County Court. Four members of the court led the event: Judge Theresa Dellick; Counseling Supervisor, James DeLucia; Magistrate Carla Baldwin; and Probation Supervisor, Sharon Fischer. The event hosted both students and their parents as they learned about bullying in the modern day. Pizza and drinks were provided for the guests while a free dress-down day pass was given to students who attended with their parents. Overall around 50 students RSVP’d for the event as required, while roughly 38 attended.

Through the presentation, the Court members spoke of several topics related to bullying and the Ohio laws associated with them. The first topic included the aspects of a healthy relationship covered by Mr. DeLucia, with a commercial showcasing an unhealthy relationship.

The presentation then moved on to the topic of sexting, or the sending of nude images to others through texting, and the laws that young people can face when involved. They also touched on cyber bullying and the effect of rapidly changing technology. “Technology is advancing at an alarming rate,” Magistrate Baldwin explained, “Faster than their mind can mature.” Baldwin also outlined the laws associated with cyber bullying and what community members could do about it.

Lastly, after mentioning the popularity of social media, the Court members outlined why young people bully, and how it might be prevented. They also listed the effects of bullying, such as suicide, and how to treat the effects of bullying . These outcomes were highlighted by the story of a graduating high school student who committed suicide after the release of embarrassing images and bullying by her community.

Throughout the entire presentation, discussion between the presenters, the audience of parents, and the Lowellville faculty arose about several subjects. The most prevalent subject addressed was how the school and community should prevent bullying. Lowellville’s faculty and the Court responded that they wholeheartedly plan to do more against bullying in the future. As well, parents asked the Court members many questions concerning legal action against the student or parents of a student who is bullying another.

The Bullying Information Night was organized by the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) on Bullying at Lowellville, where members from the faculty and community met to discuss how to take action. The idea for the event was introduced by Assistant Principal, Tim Pancake, who heard of a similar event in nearby the Poland School System run by the Mahoning Valley Court. After contacting a member of the Court to hear their method, Pancake and the PAC decided the Court presentation would be more effective than their voices alone. For this first event, the PAC also decided to only address the high school students as the presentation involved mature topics. Unlike Poland’s event with only students, the PAC involved both students and their parents in the event.

“The goal of the event was to make parents and students aware of different bullying actions,” Pancake explained. “Both in the school and outside. A big portion was focused on cell phone usage.”

The PAC also has many plans for the next year to address bullying. After meeting at the beginning of the school year, the Committee will have the entire month of October to dedicate to bullying awareness as part of National Bullying Prevention Month. Besides that, Pancake said they want to get even more parents and students involved and that the school might host two separate nights, one for high school and one for elementary. The Committee considered hosting an assembly instead, but the event would then miss parents who ultimately play a large part in bully prevention.

To ensure more people for the event next year, Pancake said the Committee will have to plan the date as much as possible. “It’s tough to plan the night when there are so many other sports and events occurring simultaneously. Next year, we might try doing the Bullying Night some time between sport seasons when less people are busy. The more students and parents involved, the better.”

 

For more information about Lowellville’s Parent Advisory Committee and policy on bullying, check out the Bullying page on the official website: http://www.lowellville.k12.oh.us/Content2/bullying

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Lowellville’s Bullying Information Night for Parents and Students