Anti-bullying summit to take place at CRHS

An anti-bullying summit will take place Monday, Feb. 11 at Coon Rapids High School, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Thanks to an Empowering the Bystander grant from Anoka County, students from Coon Rapids and Centennial high schools took part in a retreat in October 2012 to learn about the helpful and hurtful roles bystanders play in bullying.

Studies show bullying can be prevented or the duration reduced when a bystander takes action.

Coon Rapids students learned how to use their voices to encourage others to stand up and take action and named their effort “Obliviate the Hate.”

There will be free pizza and a resource fair from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria followed by a program from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The program will include a presentation by Dr. David Walsh. psychologist, educator and author specializing in parenting, family life and the impact of media on children and teens,

Walsh will present “The Character Challenge: Fostering Respect and Courage in 21st Century Youth.”

In his talk, Walsh will talk about how developing character traits like respect, honesty, integrity, courage, compassion and kindness in youth is more important and more challenging than ever.

He will explain how these qualities are the most effective antidotes to bullying.

Walsh will also describe what people can and must do to foster them so that youth can stand up for themselves and others in a culture that has replaced “Have a nice day” with “Make my day.”

It is not necessary to have children in the Anoka-Hennepin School District to attend the summit; everyone is welcome to this free event.

For more information, go to www.AnokaCounty.us/bystander.

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