The Kids Beat

Bye-Bye Bullies?

School: New state effort to fight bullying

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Vermont is blowing the whistle on bullies. This fall, Vermont Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca announced the formation of an advisory council to stop the pervasive problem. What's a round table going to do? Provide a more coordinated approach to fighting it, for starters. "Up until this point, efforts have been piecemeal," says council chair Tracey Tsugawa, a civil rights investigator for the Vermont Human Rights Commission. She says the council — which includes a student representative — will address needs for curriculum materials, training for parents, schools and law enforcement, and perhaps even some legal changes. At the top of the agenda is cyberbullying, which Tsugawa notes Vermont is "woefully underprepared to deal with." The council met for the first time in late August.

Harassment, Hazing and Bullying Prevention Advisory Council: Members include Barbara Crippen, Charles E. Memusi Johnson, Curtiss Reed, Henri Sparks, Jeff Fannon, Jeff Francis, Kathy Johnson, Ken Page, Kim Brittenham, Mill Moore, Nicole Mace, Robert Appel, Saben Littlefield and Tracey Tsugawa. Full biographies online: education.vermont.gov/new/html/council_bullying.html. Info, 828-3154.

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