A series of meetings begin next week across Kansas to discuss how to address bullying.

“Now, bullying occurs 24-7,” said Kansas Education Commissioner, Dr. Randy Watson. “It’s just a much different environment and kids today are under more stress because of that. The State Board says, how can we help parents and help educators, but really help the families get a grip on what would be the best effective ways to combat this issue?”

The place where discussion must begin is in defining the term.

“This task force will be working on a common definition of what bullying is, so that people understand it’s a repetitive behavior that occurs over time and then how to address that so that parents have the tools of how to effectively help their kids and educators do, too.”

It’s important to note that both those committing bullying actions and those being bullied are children and need tools to learn how to not engage in such behavior.

“From the person that bullies and how to address that issue, to the recipient of bullying and how to effectively deal with that, how to report that effectively, how to have resiliency, it’s all of the above. It’s not, I’m a victim and I need someone to solve it. We want to report it. We want it to cease.”

Regional site meetings are:

·         Tuesday, May 28: Clearwater, Orion Education and Training, 13939 Diagonal Road.

·         Tuesday, June 18: Garden City, location to be determined.

·         Monday, Aug. 5: Salina, Smoky Hill Education Service Center, 605 E. Crawford.

·         Wednesday, Sept. 25: Girard, Greenbush Education Service Center, 947 W. 47 Highway.

·         Wednesday, Nov. 6: Lawrence, Greenbush Resource Center, 1104 E. 1000 Road.

·         Monday, Dec. 2: Lawrence, Greenbush Resource Center, 1104 E. 1000 Road.