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PRESS RELEASE

April 25, 2008

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Holds Third Annual Bullying Prevention Conference
~ Workshops provide participants with valuable information on ways to stop bullying in Florida schools ~

ORLANDO - The Florida Department of Education's Third Annual Bullying Prevention Conference will conclude today at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. The two-day conference, sponsored by the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Institute of Education and the University of North Florida, provided participants with comprehensive information about the various forms of bullying, its causes and effective prevention strategies. More than 500 teachers, school administrators, counselors, state agency representatives, community leaders, law enforcement officials and parents attended the conference.

"We must make every effort to provide our students with safe and supportive learning environments where they are free to thrive academically," said Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith. "Through conferences such as this we are able to develop a multifaceted, systemic approach to the elimination of bullying in our state."

The conference included 41 breakout sessions and presentations that addressed topics such as effective bullying prevention, cyberbullying, brain research and bullying, gang relationships and ways to change school cultures to deter bullying. The workshops were designed to challenge a participant’s understanding of the ramifications of bullying, consider their role in preventing bullying, and enhance their abilities to address it.

Keynote speakers during the conference included:

  • Horacio Sanchez – President/CEO of Resiliency, Inc. in North Carolina
  • Dr. Randy Sprick – Director of Teaching Strategies, Inc. and the lead consultant for Safe & Civil Schools in Oregon.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Barton – Associate Director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Wayne State University in Michigan.
  • Dr. Dennis D. Embry – CEO/president of PAXIS Institute in Arizona, co-investigator at the National Center on Early Adolescence in Oregon, and co-investigator at the Center on Prevention and Early Intervention at Johns Hopkins University.

For more information about the conference!, visit: http://www.fldoe.org/safeschools/.

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