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On Sunday, October 6, 2013, approximately 50 education majors attended the first of three professional development lectures linked with bullying prevention. Lecture I was presented by Pam Countoris, PA Cares Bullying Prevention Specialist, and PA State Trooper Dempsey, a law enforcement officer who has worked especially in the field of cyber bullying prevention.
Both speakers were exemplary in that they provided the students in attendance with new knowledge linked with the topic of bullying in schools and in the communities. The students consistently wrote on their evaluations that the information provided was valuable and, in the case of Trooper Dempsey, “extremely interesting, shocking, and revealing”. Students gained insight into the statistics linked with bullying and the affects that being bullied can have on students, as well as the negative impact that the social media has had on children and teenagers throughout the past years.
Lecture 2 will be presented on Thursday, October 24 between 5:00 and 8:00 PM. Don Smith, Emergency Crisis Coordinator of Center for Safe Schools from the PA Department of Education, will present information linked with School Safety…a topic that every education major who is preparing to be a teacher should understand. On Sunday, November 23, between 9:00 AM and 12 PM, Lecture 3 will be presented by David Keller Traviskis, a PA Bar Association Member and co-author of the book 2013 School Law: Legal Framework, Guiding Principles, and Litigated Areas. Both sessions will be held at the Luparello Lecture Hall in the Dupre Science Pavillion. SVC students must be registered in order to attend the presentations.
Dr. Veronica Ent, Chair of the Education Department at Saint Vincent College has stated that professional development during teacher preparation at colleges is very significant in that it helps pre-service teachers develop an understanding of “continuing professional development that will eventually be a part of the new state system under which they will be evaluated as professionals.” In addition to Dr. Ent’s efforts, Jacqueline Colland, Adjunct Lecturer at SVC, developed the grant and has created the three lectures which are being presented on campus. Thanks to both of these dedicated educators for enabling the education majors at Saint Vincent to have opportunities learning about one of the most important topics in education…that being the topic of Bullying Prevention.