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FOR RELEASE: May 30, 2002
CONTACT: Dick Gunn

Health Department Offers Free “Train the Trainer” Workshops to Prevent Bullying

Sixty percent of students who bully go on to commit at least one crime as adults. And it’s not just boys - girls can be very active as bullies, often using subtle cues like targeting a girl to shun or using non-verbal cues. The majority of bullies become incarcerated in their mid-twenties, many with multiple felony convictions.

So what can be done to stop bullying?

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is taking steps to prevent bullying by offering free “Train the Trainer” workshops for teachers and county health department educators to learn how to teach other educators by setting up bullying prevention around the state. The goal is to train more than 700 trainers by the end of July.

Bullying involves the exploitation of a less powerful person, by a person who deliberately, repeatedly and harmfully uses their power advantage. It can be displayed verbally or nonverbally, in obvious or subtle ways, and in differing degrees, from pushing, shoving, and hitting to extortion, social exclusion, and public humiliation, according to OSDH Sexual Assault Prevention Education Coordinator Kathy Middleton. “Through bullying prevention programs, we hope to stop disruptive, damaging and violent behavior that can leave emotional scars on children for life, or in some cases, lead to injury and death,” Middleton said.

A new law, Senate Bill 992, signed by Gov. Frank Keating in May, will help teachers and administrators initiate bullying prevention programs in schools. The law allows school districts to set up the type of bullying program they want tailored to meet their needs.

OSDH is planning a “Train the Trainer” in-service during June for interested school districts, private schools, and county health departments to help meet this need in local communities. “There will be five regional “Train the Trainers” workshops in Oklahoma to allow school districts and county health department administrators to send one representative who will then train their district personnel,” said Middleton. Superintendents, School Board Presidents, and County Administrators are being contacted now to send designated staff to attend the workshops.

“The training is free and will help schools implement the new law with research based strategies. We hope to train all interested districts and accredited schools, giving Oklahoma more than 700 experienced trainers by July this year,” Middleton added.

The “Train the Trainer” class schedule is from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the following dates:

  • June 13, 2002 Lawton, OK Great Plains Technical Center
  • June 14, 2002 Enid, Cherokee Strip Conference Center
  • June 17, 2002 McAlester, Days Inn Conference Room
  • June 20, 2002 Tulsa, Tulsa Ramada Conference Center
  • June 24, 2002 Oklahoma City, MetroTec

For more information on the “Train the Trainer” summer workshops, or to schedule “Bullying 101 and 102” for community presentations, contact the OSDH Sexual Assault Prevention Education Program Coordinator Kathy Middleton at (405) 271-4072 ext. 57107 or kathymm@health.state.ok.us.


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