Extension Office, city organize important anti-bullying summit

Published 10:42pm Tuesday, September 3, 2013

By Jay Sowers

The Selma Times-Journal

Classroom bullies have finally met their match.

Students, parents, and educational professionals from Selma and Dallas County can come together to combat bullying during an anti-bullying summit – entitled “Free To Be Me” — on Sept. 26 at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center in Selma.

Callie Nelson, County Extension Coordinator with the Dallas County Extension Office, said Tuesday this event would be a great chance for people — whether they are enrolled in schools in Dallas County, the parent of a current student, or a school faculty member — to come together and combat the bullying issue in their hometown.

“Selma has a lot of violence,” Nelson said. “We are trying to work on the bullying issue to train young people that violence is not okay.”

Nelson said the event, which is funded by a Rural Alabama Grant which she wrote, will be very participatory for those in attendance and will feature workshops — for students, parents and educational professionals — as well as vendors and exhibits offering information about the effects of bullying, as well as the best tips on how to combat the many forms of bullying.

“The funding is going to allow us to bring in some good speakers for professionals, students, as well as parents,” Nelson said.

Nelson said Christopher McCauley, executive director of the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, a group which conducts workshops to build understanding and skill in convening, moderating and reporting discussions on public issues, will be leading a forum at the convention center, following the day’s events, during which those in attendance will be able to discuss specific issues they see in their schools in and around Selma.

Nelson said anyone interested in attending the event could register over the phone by calling the Alabama Cooperative Extension System office at 875-3200.

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