February 03, 2010 No one likes to be picked on. Ideally, children and young people should have the expectation that they'll be able to learn and grow in a hassle-free environment.
Unfortunately in the real world that isn't always the case. Whether physical, oral, written or sent over cyberspace, bullying is an issue that leaves damaging scars and shadows healthy growth with humiliation and self-doubt.
No one likes a bully, but sometimes parents, educators and other well-intentioned individuals aren't aware that there's an issue and it may go unchecked.
The Lapeer County Equal Rights Alliance hopes to change that. They're sponsoring a free workshop on bullying, hazing and harassment that will help people understand bullying and related behavior, including 'bystander mentality' on February 24 at the Lapeer Center Building in Lapeer.
The objective is to increase knowledge about bullying and related issues and to facilitate sharing, discussion and problem solving in the community. Information will be presented by Jim Toy, MSW, retired Diversity Coordinator for the Office of Institutional Equity at the University of Michigan. Toy has developed several educational programs and provided guidance to communities and classrooms throughout his career, and his appearance in Lapeer is an opportunity for everyone to garner from his expertise.
We applaud the Lapeer County Equal Rights Alliance for hosting a seminar on this important issue. We hope residents will support their efforts to provide a safe, hassle-free learning environment in schools throughout the community.