I used to decline requests to deliver my presentation – Weakfish – Bullying Through the Eyes of a Child for student groups. I was concerned about how useful the presentation would be for students, since it was originally intended for adults. I had a client who was insistent that I deliver the presentation for several different schools in Jasper, Indiana some years ago that forever changed my mind on this. A student wrote a thank you letter to me after my visit, and in the letter he indicated that he had been contemplating suicide and had decided not to kill himself after hearing the presentation.
I still advise schools that they must implement a structured approach to bullying prevention to have a significant and lasting impact on bullying. I recommend that school districts adopt evidence-based approaches to bullying prevention, combined with strategies to improve student supervision and even broader approaches to improve school culture and climate. And there is never a bad time to re-evaluate the effectiveness of student supervision.
Since that presentation in Jasper, I have delivered many of these presentations at schools around the nation and have found every one of them to be a powerful, inspiring and meaningful experience. I have met so many great students, parents and educators during these events and I find them to be a great motivator to keep doing what we’re doing here at Safe Havens.