October is Bullying Prevention Month.
Teams from school systems across the State will travel to the University of Maryland-College Park on Friday for the State's Third Annual Conference on the Prevention of Bullying and Harassment. It coincides with National Bullying Prevention month, which takes place each October.
Bullying prevention has been a particular focus of Maryland First Lady Katie O'Malley, and she praised plans for the conference.
"Part of creating the next generation of leaders and achievers is allowing our kids to learn in a bully-free environment," Judge O'Malley said. "I'd like to thank Dr. Lowery and the organizers of this annual conference for recognizing that it takes all of us—parents, teachers, administrators, students, and community leaders—to stop bullying. Together, we can create a culture of tolerance so our kids can grow up with dignity and respect and lead healthy, successful lives."
The Maryland State Department of Education has put school safety near the top of its agenda, and schools throughout the State are involved in special bullying awareness activities this month.
"Bullying prevention is a top priority for Maryland public schools, because bullying is a roadblock to learning and its affects are severe," said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery. "Our students deserve environments that are free from bad behavior. This conference will provide us with ideas on how to do just that."
Conference attendees will be provided with the latest research and practices in the school safety realm. Participants will learn strategies on how to empower students to help stop bullying and engage in bullying prevention.
The conference—the largest of its kind in the State—is sponsored through the Maryland Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) initiative being implemented by the Maryland State Department of Education, Johns Hopkins University, and Sheppard Pratt Health Systems.
It is taking place in collaboration with the 11th Annual Cyberethics, Cybersafety, and Cybersecurity(C3)at the University of Maryland, which starts on Thursday.