What is bullying, nowadays?

downloadWhen the average adult thinks of bullying, he or she often conjures up images of a playground nemisis, bulky and over developed, demanding lunch money from a smaller, brainy child with glasses and bad acne. The reality of bullying today couldn’t be any further from this image.

Ms. Deb McCoy, the President of Educational Development Services, LLC, teaches workshops, sponsored by PMYF, that address the kind of bullying that goes on today. The titles of her workshops are a great example of some of the issues she discussed:

  • Generation DIVA
  • Digital Drame: Walking Through the Student Cyber World
  • Sexual Harassment, Cyberbullying, and Cyber Shaming
  • Hazed and Confused: Defining and Tracking Hazing, Harrassment, and Bullying

The day to day of what our children face is dramatically different than what cartoons and televisions shows often lead us to believe. Children are finding new and insidious ways to bully each other, often without realizing the ramifications of their actions or the effect they are having on other people. By educating teachers, administrators, and even the students themselves, Ms. McCoy works to combat these problems and makes schools a more welcoming and safe place that is concerned with learning and building up, rather than demeaning and tearing down.

You can read a full description of workshops offered and learn more about our Education and  Prevention Program here.

But, is bullying really that big of a problem?

In a recent issue of the PA Masonic Youth Minutes, we discussed statistics regarding bullying, obtained from www.bullystatistics.org:

  • doc51662338313f32564707731About 42 percent of kids have been bullied while online with one in four being verbally attacked more than once.
  • Other bullying statistics show that about 77 percent of students have admitted to being the victim of one type of bullying or another.
  • The American Justice Department bullying statistics show that one out of ever 4 kids will be bullied sometime throughout their adolescence.
  • 46 percent of males followed by 26 percent of females have admitted to being victims in physical fights as reported in one report of bullying statistics by the Bureau of Justice School.

This is why the bullying prevention workshops that PMYF funds in conjunction with Educational Development Services, LLC, are so important. Since the beginning of 2014, the PMYF Anti-Bullying program has trained 746 educators at seven different locations across the Commonwealth. In nearly every instance, the workshop was sold out, as teachers looked for more information on better ways to prevent and stop bullying in their school. For the price of a small registration fee of $15 (which covers the provided meals), teachers who attend are able to earn Continuing Education Credits (CEU’s) and provide a safer classroom environment year round.

Thank you, to the Freemasons of Pennsylvania, for making this kind of information available to teachers and administrators! You can learn more about our Bullying Prevention Program here.


Who Knows About Bullying?

The answer to the headline question is very simple – Mrs. Deb McCoy knows a lot about bullying!

20100924_085059_CYBERTAL1_300Deb has been teaching educators about the problems of bullying for over a decade. Through her partnership with the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation and Educational Development Services, Ltd, she has been able to present to thousands of teachers, administrators, and school officials about how to tackle the problems of bullying in our schools.

Deb’s background is specially suited to dealing with these issues. After graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Rehabilitative Education, Ms. McCoy began work at a halfway house for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. She created a day-treatment program for adolescents at the facility, as well as designing and implementing the local school districts’ Student Assistance Program.

During her years at the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Ms. McCoy worked in the Student Services Division as a Regional Coordinator with Student Assistance Programs and Safe & Drug-Free Schools Programs. In that role, she conducted monitoring visits to school districts to ensure their compliance with state and federal regulations in providing a safe environment for all students to learn. Deborah developed a wide range of training programs for educators, specializing in violence and drug & alcohol prevention, creating safe schools, cultural issues, and school policy development.

In her current role, as an education consultant and trainer, Ms. McCoy leads in-depth bullying prevention, threat assessment and violence prevention trainings for educators. Her seminars provide practical strategies and solutions to the problems of bullying and violence among students, so schools can develop effective programs to address these issues. She has also developed an early childhood bullying prevention & conflict resolution training for teachers and caregivers that work with children two through six years of age.

If you’d like to know more about the programs offered by Deb, check out our Anti-Bullying Workshops Page.

(Special thanks to Project Care for the biographical information provided.)