Conference tackles bullying
by Nick Delgado
Guam - Bullying Affects Students, Teachers, and All (BASTA) - that's the theme for the upcoming three-day conference sponsored by the Judiciary of Guam and the Guam Department of Education. According to Cindy Hanson of the Guam Anti-Bullying Organization, bullying is the action of one person to another in an effort to make them fearful, uncomfortable, or intimidated.
"Be it physical, verbally threatening, or something that takes place in cyberspace," she explained.
Although Guam statistics on bullying are unavailable, Guam doesn't take the issue lightly. "There is actually public law in place that makes bullying illegal, and also addresses cyberbullying," added Hanson. "Guam is one of the few places in the united states that has very strict laws about cyberbullying." DOE's Chris Anderson, with Student Support, says already 350 students are signed up for the first day of the workshop, which will be facilitated by youth for the youth. The remaining days for the workshop will be open to all ages from the community.
"We're aggressively trying to get the schools to sign up their folks to spend a couple of days to learn about bullying prevention efforts," he said.
Hanson says that it's not just the bully and the bullied involved, but more importantly, the bystander. "We will be having special breakout sessions on how to proceed if you are the bystander, if you witness bullying, what you should do," she said.