￼DuBOIS — Two more bullying prevention speakers are scheduled to speak to DuBois Area School District students this month.
Omega Man — Helping Everyone Respect Others (You too can be a HERO) — is coming to the elementary schools, according to Juniata Elementary Principal and Director of Federal Programs Barbara Jo Smith.
“This presenter was found through research I did trying to locate someone who would meet the elementary needs for an anti-bullying assembly,” Smith said. “It is funded through our Federal Grant – Title IV. Part of the requirements of this grant is to provide anti-bullying programs to students.”
“Every chance we have to talk with students about anti-bullying, we take, as each one may touch another and another until we are all on the same page,” Smith said.
Omega Man and Friends will be coming to Oklahoma Elementary at 10 a.m. Thursday and to Wasson Elementary at 2 p.m. Thursday. On Friday, he will visit Juniata Elementary at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. will be at C.G. Johnson.
Omega Man and Friends deliver an anti-bullying/character development message through a superhero theme, an image that youth look up to and emulate.
On March 23 at 9:30 a.m., author Tom Thelen will speak to students at the DuBois Area Middle School, and later that day at the DuBois Area High School. He is the founder of the Victimproof Bullying Prevention Program, a curriculum that helps kids speak up to bullying and become a positive influence in their school.
“As a school district, we are committed to educating our school community regarding the issue of bullying,” said middle school Assistant Principal Michael Maholtz. Resiliency was the focus of the first speaker on anti-bullying in February.
“Tom Thelen’s program is unique because it relates to what students experience each and every day,” Maholtz said. “It empowers kids to take charge of their lives and be the change.”
“I believe that he will be the spark that we need to enhance our culture of character, here at the DuBois Area Middle School,” Maholtz said.
“A new study by the U.S. Department of Education shows that 30 percent of sixth-graders experience bullying on a regular basis,” said Thelen. “And by the time they reach 12th grade, that number is reduced to 15 percent, which is still way too high.”
“If we’re ever going to reduce bullying, we have to give kids practical skills for how to handle it and how to get help,” Thelen said.
Thelen has spoken at more than 500 schools, colleges and youth organizations.