Jim Bisenius, a child and adolescent therapist, was at Triad High School Tuesday night to share strategies as to how students can “bully-proof” their lives. Over 75 students and parents were in attendance to learn response strategies that deter bullying. (Photo submitted)
Triad Local Schools are working to “bully-proof” their students.
On Tuesday, Triad hosted Jim Bisenius, a child and adolescent therapist who specializes in teaching targeted students how to handle bullying situations. He has developed response techniques that he has shared at hundreds of schools.
Throughout the day, Bisenius visited Triad’s elementary, middle and high schools and shared strategies geared toward each age group.
In the evening, the high school hosted a community night and welcomed parents and family members to hear Bisenius’ message.
Triad Superintendent Vickie Hoffman said the program fits into part of a four-year plan developed by the district’s guidance counselors.
Each year, counseling efforts at the school revolve around one of four themes. The topics rotate every four years so each student is exposed to education surrounding it during their time at the elementary, middle and high schools.
This year’s theme is “suicide prevention and anti-bullying.”
Hoffman said she doesn’t see especially high rates of bullying at Triad, but the district wants to be proactive in helping its students.
“The event wasn’t because we were trying to address some specific event, but because we want to have good, preventative programming here,” she said.
Rather than completely avoiding bullies, Bisenius shared tips with students as to how they can appropriately respond to bullies and deter hurtful actions.
“You can’t control being tested by (bullies), but you can control how you respond in order to re-teach them how to treat you,” one of Bisenius’ tips states.
His strategies address verbal, physical, cyber and social bullying, or intentionally excluding and isolating others.
Bisenius’ message emphasized, “if another student is targeting you, it is in no way your fault,” but aimed to equip students to stand up to bullying.
He shared how to change physical posture to avoid showing fear and how stop giving bullies attention or things they seek, along with how parents can teach students to do this.
Hoffman said she felt the event was extremely successful, regarding both content shared and the number in attendance.
Triad’s PTSA provided free pizza and babysitting during the event, she said, which had a turnout of over 75 attendees.
She said she was pleased with the attendance, which was a significant increase from the four parents who attended when Triad hosted Bisenius several years ago.
Hoffman said the event had an even wider reach because Bisenius also provided a packet detailing his techniques to be distributed to parents.
She said tips from the program will continue to be shared with students to help them “bully-proof their lives.”
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